Spanish Priest Sidelined by Church for Allegedly Hawking Viagra

picture alliance via Getty Images
picture alliance via Getty Images

A Spanish priest has been sidelined by the Roman Catholic Church after he was busted by the Civil Guard’s organized-crime unit for allegedly selling Viagra and other “aphrodisiac substances” out of his home.

Identified in local reports as a long-time parish priest from the small town of Don Benito, he is now receiving “psychological and spiritual” help during his temporary suspension, the diocese of Plasencia announced in a statement on Thursday, adding that it was “dismayed” by the “scandal” swirling around the case.

Known as Don Alfonso, the priest was detained Monday but later provisionally released, while a second man who was arrested—described in local reports as Don Alfonso’s boyfriend—has remained in custody. According to El Mundo, Don Alfonso was monitored by the Civil Guard’s Organized-Crime and Anti-Drug Unit for months before cops finally swooped in and arrested him.

Authorities claim he and the second man had been receiving deliveries of Viagra from other European countries and then selling it out of a rented apartment in Don Benito.

Jesús Carretero, a lawyer for the priest, has disputed the allegations, telling the newspaper that Don Alfonso had “no knowledge” of any drug trafficking and “there is no evidence that incriminates him.”

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