Creu de Sant Jordi firefighter priest accused of sexual abuse

The Archdiocese of Barcelona sees "well-founded indications of the commission of the crime" by Josep Lluís Fernández Padró and has sent the case to the Vatican

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Poster by Father Josep Luciera Padrón

BarcelonaJosep Lluís Fernández Padró is a well-known Catalan priest who helped create the Provincial Volunteer Fire Brigade of Barcelona in 1960 and that of the Generalitat during the 1980s. In fact, he was known as the fireman priest and was in charge of doing all the religious acts of the Barcelona fire brigade. Until a few months ago. Two people denounced Fernández Padró for sexual abuse, and one of the two cases has led the Diocese of Barcelona to investigate the facts and take them to the Vatican. "The result of this investigation offered well-founded indications of the commission of the crime," says the statement released by the Diocese after the ARA asked about the case.

A.A.M. was abused by Fernández Padró when he was 16 years old. He said nothing until a few years ago, almost 40 years after the facts, the subject stirred him up again. He filed a complaint with the Mossos d'Esquadra and on March 25 he contacted the Church to explain what had happened. The Ecclesiastical Tribunal investigated the facts "happened 40 years ago and susceptible of typification as a crime of sexual abuse of minors" and, after two months, on May 19, sent the report to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in the Holy See

During the last few months, Fernández Padró has also seen how all the links he had with the different fire brigades were broken. The reason? In the Eixample fire station, next to the Parc de Joan Miró, posters appeared accusing the priest of sexual abuse. It was the first clue. Then they ended up notifying two complaints against the former co-founder of the body. "At the time we detected the complaints, he was told that we did not want him linked to the organization and he was removed from the only event in which he participated: the patron saint festival," explains to ARA the head of the Barcelona firefighters, Sebastià Massagué. He has also been removed from the Escala d'Honor de los Bombers de la Generalitat and the Department of Culture has on the table what to do with the Creu de Sant Jordi that was given to him in 2007. The change of Government and the recent restructuring of the department have slowed down, for now, the decision

A second complaint

Fernández Padró has a second complaint. G.Q.Z. denounced him in November 2019, and this May he has to receive the notification on whether the trial is held. The events took place on May 9, 2019, while G.Q.Z. was recording a report on the history of firefighters. According to denounced to the Mossos, Fernandez touched him when they had finished recording. A few months after making the complaint, G.Q.Z. received death threats on his mobile phone and via email. "Careful you don't end up cutting your throat," said one of the messages. Through two different mobiles they insulted him and told him that he would end up in "hell", while in an email they warned him: "A withdrawal in time is always a victory". In the trial for the threats, before different lawyers, one of the accused - there were two of them - admitted that Fernandez had given him G.Q.Z.'s phone number

The firefighter priest entered the seminary at the age of 16. "They kicked me out because I was a donkey", he explained in an interview on El cafè de la Repúblicawith Joan Barril and Joan Ollé. He went to study at the University and there Alfred Rubio, promoter of the Casa Santiago, asked him if he wanted to be a priest. So, he resumed his theology studies until he became a member of the Church, assuming until a few months ago the vicarage of Sant Isidor, in Barcelona. When he was young he travelled to Cameroon, a country where he spent many years; between 1971 and 1986 he was a missionary there and has been very involved, cooperating in projects with minors and disadvantaged people. He is currently retired from the priesthood and has resigned of his own free will from all his pastoral positions and responsibilities in the Archdiocese. Fernàndez Padró is a member of the board of trustees of the Fundació Fàtima, which is dedicated to the reception, accompaniment and care of minors under the protection of the Generalitat and the elderly