The Guimarães Court postponed this Wednesday the reading of the judgment of the case with a priest and three responsible for an “association of the faithful” of Requião, in Vila Nova de Famalicão, district of Braga, accused of enslaving young girls.
Before the reading of the decision, scheduled for this Wednesday morning, the presiding judge communicated the non-substantial change of facts and, as the defendants’ defense did not dispense with a deadline to comment, the court gave them two days to present a defense and scheduled a new session for July 1st.
The possibility that, on that day, there would be a reading of the judgment or, eventually, the reopening of the trial for the production of evidence, remained open.
One of the changes communicated by the president of the collective of judges, Paula Sá, concerns the “addition” of acts carried out by the defendants, which appear in the prosecution of the Public Ministry (MP).
Young people enslaved in a “climate of terror”
The prosecution of the MP says that the four defendants – the founding priest and three religious – recruited young people to perform the daily tasks in the conservation and maintenance of the facilities, and continuation of the activity of the ‘Missionary Brotherhood of Cristo Jovem’, “without any compensation and through the implementation of a climate of terror”.
“The defendants were targeting young people with humble roots, with few qualifications or emotionally fragile and with pretensions to integrate a spiritual community of Catholic roots, pious and fearing God”, maintains the MP.
In question is the Social Center for Youth Support and Guidance, a Private Institution of Social Solidarity (IPSS) in the form of an Institute of Religious Organization, created on the initiative of the Pia Union of Missionary Sisters of Christ Young, called “Missionary Fraternity of Christ Jovem”, also accused in the process and installed in a convent in Requião, Vila Nova de Famalicão.
The MP mentions that the defendants told the young women that “they had been chosen by God, convincing them that they should choose the religious life”, and that, if they denied their vocations, they would have “divine” punishments, family problems and deaths in the family. .
The indictment indicates that the defendants subjected the young women, daily, to various physical aggressions, injuries, psychological pressure, humiliating treatment, punishment and hard work.
Lack of food, denial of medical and medication care and restriction of liberty are other facts attributed to the defendants.
The prosecution speaks of slaps, punches, kicks, hair pulling, beatings with hoes, rake, irons, hose, sticks, brooms, slippers, shoes and with a whip with rope.
Sometimes the girls would be forced to beat each other with the whip.
Young women would also be subject to punishments such as a ban on having breakfast, bathing for several days and even weeks, drinking water all day in the summer when they were working in the sun for several hours and wearing underwear for several days. or weeks.
Each defendant is responsible for nine crimes of slavery.
The prosecution underlines that the defendants, despite calling themselves “sisters”, are not actually nuns, as they do not have votes, as required by the Catholic Church.