A judge in southern Spain has ordered the arrests of three priests and a lay person in a paedophilia investigation.
The suspects are thought to be members of an unofficial ultraconservative group of priests and lay Catholics in the Granada region.
Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz made a statement on Monday:
“We have to recognise that the church is fully cooperating with efforts to eliminate paedophilia from it’s ranks. And we also hope that it will be eliminated in society as well.”
The inquiry was triggered by a letter which an alleged victim sent to Pope Francis. He then personally telephoned the young man and ordered an internal investigation into the allegations.
The victim, who is now 24 and a teacher, allegedly suffered the abuse when he was an altar boy in a Granada parish.