|Pere Barceló Rigo|
MALLORCA (Agencies) The Ecclesiastical Court of Mallorca has declared Pere Barceló Rigo, parish priest at Can Picafort guilty of abusing several underage girls in the 1990s, and sentenced him to the maximum canonical penalty of expulsion from the clergy and his ministry. In a statement, the Bishopric of Mallorca said that his crimes were 'very serious'. The sentence will be ratified by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (once known as the Inquisition). Barceló can appeal against his sentence in Rome. The process began when a girl reported that she had been raped on several occasions by the parish priest at Can Picafort when she was ten. Another similar report was dismissed for lack of evidence in 1998. The priest was suspended in March 2011 after another woman from a nearby village came forward to denounce him for sexual abuse.