ROME — Some people will do anything for love—even deny it.
Or at least that’s what it appears two Spanish pseudo-nuns have done in an attempt to save Feliciano Miguel Rosendo, a priest who has been accused of forcing them to take part in orgies by claiming his semen was holy and represented the “body of Christ” and would “purify” them.
The nuns reportedly agreed to virginity tests in the Spanish town of Tui to prove that they hadn’t had carnal relations with the prelate, despite eyewitness accounts that imply at least some sexual contact.
Rosendo was arrested in December 2014 on charges of sex abuse and tax crimes associated with the Order of Saint Michael Archangel, a Roman Catholic sect whose choir performed for Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 during his apostolic voyage to Madrid. After allegations of sexual escapades and money laundering surfaced, the Vatican relieved Rosendo of his duties—after which the prelate simply changed the name of his sect to the Voice of Serviam and apparently carried on with business as usual, unusual as it might have been.
The prelate remains a Catholic priest, but the Vatican has disassociated itself with the sect. Prior to the 2014 arrest, a number of nuns testified that Rosendo persuaded them to perform sex acts on and with him, proclaiming the purifying properties of his ejaculate. One woman, who eventually left religious life and went on to marry, testified that Rosendo even forced her to have sexual relations the night before she got married and after she had wed. “I married Fernando to stop suffering abuse by Miguel, but I was surprised when, after the wedding, the abuse continued,” she told the court, according to the Spanish edition of The Local news website.
The original case’s court documents show that Rosendo apparently rotated the religious ladies through his bed in the house in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, north of Madrid, that they apparently all shared. According to local press reports, Marta Pax Alonso, a self-declared nun who has never been actually affiliated with any Vatican-recognized Catholic order, was his chief assistant and lover.
Alonso, however, is one of the women who took a virginity test to prove that she had never had vaginal sex. She was also arrested in 2014 for financial crimes. That year, several family members of the nuns in question reportedly pleaded with Pope Francis to persuade the women to leave Rosendo’s alleged sex sect, but the Vatican apparently never responded on behalf of the pope. However, Renzo Fratini, the papal nuncio (or Vatican ambassador) to Spain, is said to have offered his support.
Citing Madrid’s College of Physicians, The Local reports the chastity tests showed the non-nuns were, indeed, virgins, stating that they “have an intact hymen with no signs of having had sexual relations, recent or old. We can rule out that they had sex with vaginal penetration and there has been no deflowering.”
There are, of course, no tests to prove or disprove the act of fellatio or other sexual activities that fall short of intercourse. Rosendo awaits trial for both sexual abuse and financial crimes.