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Catholic Church suspends priest accused of selling Viagra

A Spanish priest has been temporarily suspended by the Roman Catholic Church after he was accused of selling drugs including the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra.

The clergyman from Don Benito, a town of around 35,000 residents in the western Extremadura region, was detained Monday on suspicion of “trafficking narcotic substances”, the diocese of Plasencia, which is responsible for his parish, said in a statement Thursday.

After his arrest, the priest, whose identity has been withheld, was provisionally released by the investigating judge, the diocese said, expressing its “pain and dismay at the suffering and scandal” caused by the events.

While it waits for a “clarification” of what happened, the diocese said it felt it was “appropriate, at this time, to temporarily remove him from the public exercise of the ministry and from his office as parish priest”.

The clergyman has been offered “psychological and spiritual accompaniment,” the statement said.

Spanish media said the priest was involved in the trafficking of Viagra, aphrodisiacs and narcotics along with a second arrested man, whom the reports said was his lover.

The two men, who had been under police surveillance for several months, used a home rented by the priest to store the products, according to the online newspaper El Espanol, which said the news caused “disbelief” among the parish’s faithful. (AFP)

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