A nun has blasted exiled former Spanish king Juan Carlos I as “corrupt”, a “womaniser” and a “thief”.

– “His reign was full of vices and that his example is nefarious”

“Right now [Juan Carlos] should not have left: he should ask Spaniards for forgiveness because he has disappointed many monarchists. We are dealing with an issue of or an investigation into a case of corruption”, Argentinian-born Sister Lucía Caram, a nun of the Santa Clara de Manresa convent in Barcelona, said August 5 on Spanish television program Cuatro al día.

The religious had previously blasted the former Spanish king on Twitter, saying that “he should acknowledge that he was corrupt, a womaniser and a thief. That his reign was full of vices and that his example is nefarious. Next: return what was stolen”.

Juan Carlos I, 82 – who reigned in Spain from the end of the country’s Francoist dictatorship in 1975 until he abdicated in favour of his son Felipe in 2014 – announced his departure from the country August 3.

That was amid ongoing Spanish and Swiss investigations into his alleged fraud, graft and tax evasion, with the probe focusing on a $100 million kickback he is said to have received from the King of Saudi Arabia.

The news of the former Spanish king’s exile came in the form of the publication by the royal palace of a letter he wrote to King Felipe, in which he lamented the spotlight on “certain past actions of my private life” and the “public impact” rumours were having on the institution of the monarchy.

– “If he really wants to defend the monarchy and its honour, he should face the music”

Though the royal family and government are hoping the clouds surrounding King Juan Carlos will clear up now that he has left Spain, Sister Lucía demanded the letter of the former monarch informing of his exile “should have been addressed to all Spaniards” instead of his son and the former king “should face the music”.

“If he really wants to defend the monarchy and its honour, he should face the music as a citizen who has evaded the tax authorities – who seems to have had an issue with corruption – or at least he should clarify what happened”, the nun stressed.

As well as the accusations of financial irregularities, Juan Carlos has also had to face allegations of being a womaniser, with rumours having it that over his lifetime he has had as many as 5,000 lovers.

Sister Lucía referred on Cuatro al día to those whispers of the king’s love life, and said that the former monarch should apologise to his wife, Queen Sofía, “the great humiliated one”.

– Bishops praise former monarch for “decisive contribution to democracy”

The possible criminal and immoral activities of the former Spanish king aside, Sister Lucía also criticised the Spanish government’s handling of the monarch’s exile.

“Does the progressive leftist government bless the escape [of Juan Carlos] without demanding that he account for the money and tax evasion? His private life is a matter for him and his heirs who, however much they apparently deny their father, are wealthy thanks to him”, the nun wrote on Twitter.

The religious even went so far as to accuse the government of using the former king’s exile “to distract attention from its mismanagement of the coronavirus and the situation of poverty” in Spain.

Sister Lucía’s criticisms of Juan Carlos could not have contrasted more sharply with the position taken by the country’s Catholic bishops on the former king’s exile, with the prelates in an August 4 statement showing their appreciation “for his decisive contribution to democracy and harmony among Spaniards”.

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Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.