The parishes attended by the priest Luis Rodríguez Patiño, in the north of Galicia, are not large. However, the parish priest has managed to ensure that his message transcends Xermade, Monfero or Aranga, the town councils in which he officiates. He has done so by demanding the expulsion of Rajoy or Feijóo from the Church for “usurers” and causing, in his opinion, “evictions and health cuts, or giving mass against the “wind massacre”. This time he has attacked the ecclesiastical hierarchy – “terrorist” he called it – for covering up the sexual abuse of minors. He, he insists, only asks that “the Gospel be followed”.
The Government assumes the investigation of the sexual abuse of the Church that the bishops threaten to boycott
Why do you describe the bishops as “terrorists”?
Terrorists in quotes. I do it because I imagine the terror of a child being raped. Imagine the terror of a child when he doesn’t know how to tell it. Or when he tells it and they tell him it’s not true. Imagine the terror of that child, of his parents, of the whole society. I have been a priest for 41 years and I have already denounced this situation many times.
When he did it?
Already in 1977, when I was a friar in the United States, because before I was a priest I was a friar. In 2013, during Holy Week. But since it was Easter they ignored me. I did it again in 2018, on the day of the Assumption. And the mothers came to thank me.
Why did you decide to raise your voice?
Because the Gospel says so. What day is today? February second, Candelaria. And Jesus Christ says that no one lights a candle to hide it under the table, but to illuminate us all. The Church does not belong to the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the Church belongs to the people. And not only commits a crime who commits it, but also who covers it up.
Why is this hierarchy acting as it does?
Do we have a hierarchy at the service of the Gospel or at the service of dark interests? In any case, they also tell me that I am a hierarchy, and as a hierarchy I want to denounce my colleagues who remain silent in these cases. Jesus of Nazareth did not keep silent. Let’s follow the Gospel.
If it has been so long since it has been denounced that the Church covers up pederasty, why don’t they pay attention to it?
They say I’m a crazy priest, they’re not interested. But I have seven careers, I have a doctorate. I helped set up the UNED university for the elderly in villages in Galicia. I have nothing to lose. What’s more, I would lose if I didn’t file a complaint, because they will hold me accountable in the end, right?
Do you think there are still cases of child abuse?
Of course it keeps happening. She already knew it when he was in Valencia. I speak very directly with my parishioners and tell them: “Do you see that candle over there? If you light it and move it, it leaves its mark on the table. It’s the same with children, everything we do shapes them, it remains in their inside”. This is scandalous. You can’t hide, you can’t go unpunished.
Are the Vatican and Pope Francis up to the task?
This already happened in the time of Jesus Christ. Who was next to him? Judas.
Do you fear reprisals for speaking so clearly about pederasty in the clergy?
I already had many. I don’t like them, but I can’t shut up.