THE priests being investigated in Granada for paedophilia after a victim wrote to Pope Francis had a modus operandi akin to that of a sect.
Investigations are focused on a parish in the city’s Zaidin neighbourhood where the priests reportedly led brainwashing sessions to convince young boys that sex with them would not be a sin according to sources referred to by El Pais.
Youngsters were first lured in as altar boys or assistants and later on taken to luxury apartments or a house in Granada owned by the group where they were subjected to brutal abuse.
The 10 priest and two laypeople being investigated supposedly also engaged in sexual activities with each other several times a week.
The priests are known as Los Romanones, according to religious news website Religion Digital, as a reference to their supposed leader who is said to be one of the three priests suspended this week.
The group’s activities came under scrutiny thanks to a 24-year-old teacher, known as Daniel, who wrote to the Pope after his story was shunned by Granada’s Archdiocese and the pontiff’s April announcement of a zero tolerance policy towards paedophilia.
The Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martínez, only suspended three of the accused and will be flown to Rome on Sunday to explain his actions to Pope Francis.
The Argentinian pontiff called the supposed victim and encouraged him to file civil charges but also apologised on behalf of the Church for the abuse he suffered.