Friday, August 22, 2014

Family of Padre Toño speaks out

In Spain, they are waiting anxiously for progress on the case of Spanish priest Fr. Antonio Rodriguez (Padre Toño), arrested in El Salvador for alleged complicity with the gangs.   The periodical El Pais has the story::

Father Toño has been accused of bringing prohibited objects such as cellphones into prisons and of having direct ties to various Mara leaders. Both investigations are in the preliminary stages. It could take up to six months for the authorities to make a decision. On Friday, Father Toño was transferred to a prison under the supervision of the Salvadoran police’s narcotics division after spending a week in hospital with low blood pressure. His lawyers intend to appeal the judge’s decision and the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was keeping up with the case, though declined to share any details. 
[Father Toño's sister] Cristina has taken two trips to El Salvador to see her brother. She said Father Toño set up workshops, clinics equipped with machines for removing gang tattoos, and schools for children. “After giving mass every morning, there is always a line of people waiting outside to ask him for help. I remember once a woman told him that her 10-year-old son had disappeared. We spent two days going all over the place until we found the boy, his body all cut up.”... 
Antonio Rodríguez Tercero began attending the old Cristo de la Luz boarding school in Daimiel when he was six years old. “He only got out at weekends and he always brought me a carnation,” his mother, Carmen, says while wiping away her tears with a handkerchief. At 10 years old, he went to Zaragoza to join the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ and stayed there until he finished his novitiate. He worked as a waiter to earn money to pay for seminary courses. He then moved to Madrid for two years before heading to El Salvador. “He wanted to follow in the footsteps of Monsignor Romero [a defender of human rights who was assassinated in the Central American country] and that’s why he chose that destination,” his mother says, her blue eyes shining like her son’s.
Read the rest of the article here.

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