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Priest accused of selling Viagra and aphrodisiacs suspended by Roman Catholic Church in Spain

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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.

Priest Arrested In Don Benito (badajoz) In An Operation Against Drug Trafficking
Facade of the parish of San Sebastian, on Feb. 20, 2024, in Don Benito, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. 

Europa Press News via Getty


After his arrest, the priest 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” guidance, the statement said.

Online newspaper El Español identified the priest as Don Alfonso Raúl Masa Soto, known as Don Alfonso.

The newspaper said Alfonso graduated with a degree in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical University. The outlet said he was a parish priest in several towns in Salamanca, and when he was transferred to the parish in Don Benito, residents of Salamanca who admired him started a petition to prevent his transfer. 

El Pais reported the priest was involved in the trafficking of Viagra and “other powerful aphrodisiac substances” along with a second arrested man, whom the reports said was his boyfriend.

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 El Español, which said the news caused “disbelief” among the parish’s faithful.

The priest’s lawyer said “there is no evidence that incriminates” his client and “he had no knowledge of anything,” according to El Mundo.

Alfonso’s arrest comes just days after a pastor in Connecticut was arrested on five charges – including for possession of crystal meth and possession with intent to sell narcotics. 

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