Spanish priest suspended over abuse allegations

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 05:00 hrs

Valencia (Spain), Sep 22 (IANS/EFE) The Catholic hierarchy in this eastern Spanish city has suspended a priest accused of sexually abusing adolescents.

From the 'very moment the facts were known', the accused cleric had 'all pastoral functions' taken away from him and 'was asked to get out of the community he was serving', the Archdiocese of Valencia said Tuesday in a statement.

The accused priest was also discharged from the faculty of St. Vincent Martyr Catholic University in Valencia.

The archdiocese said that it has followed the instructions that Pope Benedict XVI 'has laid down for such cases'.

The daily Levante-EMV said Tuesday that a parish priest was arrested by police as the suspected perpetrator of several crimes of sexual abuse committed against two teenagers and that he was released on his own recognizance pending possible trial.

The statement from the archdiocese also said that Archbishop Carlos Osoro 'is deeply sorry about the incidents reported, which shame and humiliate us'.

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