Title: Opus Dei confirms one of its priests sentenced by Vatican for abuse
ROSARIO, Argentina – Through a statement released on Thursday, Opus Dei publicly acknowledged the first sentence issued by the Vatican against one of its priests for sexual abuse.
“The Opus Dei prelature in Spain asks for forgiveness and deeply regrets the suffering caused to the victims,” says the statement. “We ask God to bring comfort and healing to those affected.”
Father Manuel Cociña, 72, was found guilty of molesting one young man, who was 18 when the abuse began in 2002 in Spain. The sentence was issued on June 30, and the priest was given 15 days to appeal. When the time to do so expired – on Wednesday at midnight – the sentence from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith became finalized.
According to the statement released by Opus Dei Spain, the priest was found guilty of “solicitation” — using the confessional to ask for sexual favors — which according to canon 1387 of the Code of Canon Law is to be punished “according to the gravity of the offence.” In the more “serious cases,” the canon says, the priest is to be dismissed from the clerical state