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Fear and pederasty among the Jesuits of Vigo: “During confession, he hugged me as if we were boyfriends”

Latest NewsFear and pederasty among the Jesuits of Vigo: “During confession, he hugged me as if we were boyfriends”

More than half a century ago, in the College of the Apostles of Santiago de Vigo of the Jesuit order, Father Modesto Vazquez Gonzalez was responsible for guiding the little ones to faith in the Lord. He did this through his position as confessor, which he held between 1954 and 1963. But in fact, more than in relation to the faith that almost all of his victims eventually lost, he led the children into his arms. According to several former pupils of the center, he locked them in his office and insulted them under the pretext of confession. Juan Julio Alfaya is one of them: “During the confessions, he hugged me, brought his face closer to me, as if we were dating. He told me that he loved me very much,” he says. Father Vasquez Gonzalez is not the only defendant. A total of eight victims told EL PAÍS that they were sexually abused at the school by eight Jesuits. They describe that the modus operandi has always been the same: forced confessions and “feeling”. The boys were between six and fourteen years old, and the evidence extends from the fifties to the seventies.

For Alfaia, 78, the worst part of these attacks in Vazquez Gonzalez’s office was the ensuing confusion. “During the first courses I took there, he treated me very well. But one day, in 1957, at the age of 13, in his office, he asked me to unfasten my belt, dropped my fly, and began to put his hand up my ass. I got scared and I ran away, I ran out of the room. I came to class completely confused. Alpha was shocked by all this. “He was my best friend. That was my big problem. He didn’t rape me and I didn’t give him time to touch my genitals. I’d run away before, but the affective damage was huge. He was a child without attachment, from a dysfunctional family, with problems in my studies. And he took care of me.” “Later on, I had a lot of problems with my sexuality. Also, if you are a believer, it creates problems in your relationship with God. If the priest is the representative of God, how can he do this with me ?

Additional Information

Alfaia’s story, as well as that of another victim, is included in a report of 251 unpublished cases of sodomy committed by Spanish clergy, which this newspaper handed over to the Pope and the Spanish Episcopal Conference in December 2021. As a result of the publication of said investigative journalism, four more victims wrote to EL PAÍS to denounce that they had also suffered abuse at the hands of Father Vasquez González. A total of 104 accusations were brought against the Jesuits. The order first opened an internal investigation in 2018 and made public the results early last year: 71 accused of sodomy and 81 victims. The order, after being contacted by this newspaper, confirms that it is investigating all these cases. The spokesman explains that as far as their center in Vigo is concerned, they are in contact with at least one of the victims, Juan Julio Alfaya. He, for his part, admits: “They were very considerate and respectful. It helped me a lot to be heard and believed. They conduct themselves in an order based on the message and life of Christ. They have changed a lot since 1957.”

About Father Vasquez Gonzalez, all of his victims tell very similar stories. Julio Martinez, a former student at the center, recalls: “He met us individually in his office. I sat down on his knees and began to caress my buttocks, putting my hand under my shorts, while defiantly choking. When he insulted him, which in his case happened between 1960 and 1961, when he was between 10 and 11 years old, the priest asked him, for example, when was his last confession or about “unclean deeds”. The defendant was a friend of his father, but Martinez never told him about it. “I talked about it with my older brother and it happened to him too, as it did to the vast majority of the boys in this school. It was vox populi among the students. But I didn’t even know it was bad. He caressed me and I thought, “Look how nice my dad’s friend treats me,” he explains.

Cover of Jesuit Modesto Vasquez’s book titled “I Had 6,000 Accusers”.

Vazquez González was a missionary in China between 1936 and 1953, as he himself points out in a book entitled “I Had 6,000 Accusers” published in 1955, in which he recounts his experiences in an Asian country. His nephew echoes his work in a blog where he details how his uncle became a priest in Shanghai in 1941 or how he ended up in prison when Mao Zedong’s followers “subdued” the Anqing mission where the Jesuit was in 1949: “January 6 In 1950, the police received a report that Father Modesto had beaten the child and broke his head, ”explains his nephew. “The father of the alleged victim admits to the teachers that this is a gross lie, but it is useless, because the apparatus works and the crime is spread in Ankin, regional and other newspapers on large banners, collecting signatures under the verdict. . Father Modesto will face 6,000 accusers,” the text reads.

The blog author describes Vasquez Gonzalez as “short, wiry, and almost transparent.” “He had a strong face and, in his words and in his address, the naturalness of a child, perhaps from long association with children; I weighed 42 kilograms,” he continues. Two years before the publication of the Jesuit’s memoirs, in 1953, he returned to Spain, where he was appointed to the College of the Apostles of Santiago de Vigo, as confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Society of Jesus. Some time later he returned to missionary work and died in Guatemala in 1969.

“The Jesuits of Vigo had the purest atrocities”

Modesto Vasquez González is not the only pedophile accused in the Apostle de Vigo in Santiago: Fernando R. denounces that seven other Jesuits also abused minors while he was at the center. This former student entered the school in 1976 when he was six years old. He found himself in a tough environment full of violence. It was common for teachers to kick children out of the classroom: “But in the corridor, when you were kicked out, a terrible experience awaited you, because Father Pedro Pablo Requejo walked through the corridors, spanking all the children he met with his open palm. he bumped into her,” he says. “We saw how he hit one child hard on the head, another and another. You were terrified waiting your turn to get the biggest slap of your life,” he continues.

Fernando says the slaps were only part of the excesses committed by Requejo, who died in 2013. The worst happened during the confession, which was made once a week and in the accused’s office. “He closed the door and sat next to me. He came as close to my body as possible and started with a confession,” he says. Fernando says he confessed his sins, the sins of a child between six and eight years old, while the accused caressed his crotch. “He brought his hand closer to my private parts and rubbed while he spoke very close to my face and kissed me on the lips,” he continues. Fernando claims that in some cases he unzipped and touched it inside his underwear. “I was very scared, but at the same time very calm, because I thought I was talking to the representative of Jesus on Earth,” he admits. “He was a man who used to spank and caress me,” he explains.

A still from a video dedicated to the Apostle of Santiago de Vigo showing several students from the school in the 1960s.

“There were pure atrocities in the Jesuits of Vigo,” he says. And he admits: “They caused me a lot of injuries because I was very shy. I still have sexual trauma. I am 54 years old and have never been able to express myself sexually. Fernando assures that in those years when he was at school, there were other Jesuits who touched children. Among them are brother Rivera – “he was a stump” – and father Fuentes. According to the complaint, the latter insulted Fernando several times. “I still remember his breath,” he admits. Fernando admits that because of what he’s been through today, he can’t stand it when a man talks too close to him. He says that simply by smelling someone else’s breath, he returns to that confession with Father Fuentes.

Fernando also denounces Brother Visarro, who he says was a “savage”. “This man was an animal that grabbed your sideburns and pulled you up until your hair was pulled out. Sometimes it even bled,” he recalls. He says that on other occasions the defendants hit him on the head with their fists. In addition to “corporal violence,” Fernando says that Vizarro’s brother had pornographic magazines in his office, which he showed to minors.

Another Jesuit pointed out by Fernando is Father Labat, whom he describes as “a very nice priest” but also “the worst offender”. A description that supports another former student of the center who wrote to EL PAÍS to denounce the abuses he was subjected to at the hands of this Jesuit. The boy was then between 12 and 14 years old, in the mid-seventies. Father Labat forced him to confess in his office: “I was wondering if I was masturbating. When I told him yes, he yelled, “It’s a sin!” And he put his hand on me,” he says. The defendant was his guardian for three years and recalls that confessions were made at least once a week. “I’m sure my entire class was affected. We talked about it among ourselves,” he says.

“Look, what a fear of the power of the Jesuits”

Fernando also denounces the Jesuit head of the center’s infirmary, whose name he does not remember. He says he abused him and his younger brother, who was between eight and nine years old at the time. Unlike Fernando, his younger brother told about it at home when it happened. “My father tried to make a mess, but at school he was told to shut up, that the Jesuits have a lot of power and can ruin it,” says Fernando. Faced with this threat, Father Fernando decided to remain silent. Now at 87, his father admits he was always aware of the sexual and physical abuse at the center and that his three children were affected by it. However, he did not take them out of school: “In those years, being a Jesuit child was prestigious, and even more so for my father, who was a man who came from nowhere,” Fernando admits. “See what the fear of the power of the Jesuits is.”

Regarding the Jesuits accused by Fernando, the order states that it has no record of any of them abusing minors and claims that no previous complaints against them have been found after investigation. But Fernando does not forget them. When he told his father that he was going to expose everything, his father asked him not to. The passing years have not erased my father’s fear of the threat that the order brought to him almost 50 years ago. Fernando, for his part, managed to get rid of the terror to which the Jesuits of Vigo subjected him, and decided to tell what happened there. “I don’t care, I know it’s true,” he emphasizes.

If you know of a case of sexual abuse that never saw the light of day, email us with your complaint at abuses@elpais.es.

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Source: elpais.com

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