The Bishop today. | Miquel Angel Cañellas

The Bishop of Majorca, Javier Salinas, continues to deny that he has had a relationship with one of his secretaries, maintaining yesterday that he was not conscious of having done “anything wrong”. “No,” he snapped when asked this morning if he was in love, saying that information which had been divulged since the news of his alleged affair broke earlier this week was an “interpretation” of the complaint sent to the ecclesiastical authorities by the man who was blaming him for the breakdown of his marriage.

Salinas has now admitted that during his visit to the Vatican to discuss economic matters related to the diocese there was also a discussion of the complaint that had reached the Vatican via the Apostolic Nunciature in Madrid. Sources within the diocese are stressing that this was not why he went to the Vatican.

He explained that, although other bishops had recommended his keeping his “silence”, the magnitude of the controversy had obliged him to speak publicly and also to defend himself to the governing bodies at the diocese. He insisted that an exchange of rings with the woman at the centre of the matter, now identified as Sonia Valenzuela, was to do with membership in a prayer group that they had formed and that they did not signify anything more. These rings do not, as has been alleged, have names, just the inscription “caminante” (which can refer to a pilgrim). 

Salinas was talking to members of the media at the New Seminary in Palma, where he had met with the ecclesiastical bodies which form part of the principal governance of the diocese. He stressed that he had not breached any of his obligations or vows.
Therefore, he was not planning on resigning, although he would accept any decision made by his superiors. Both the Vatican and the Nunciature have let Salinas know that they have assumed their responsibilities in checking the veracity of claims, although the analysis has not yet been concluded.