Spain collected 445 complaints about the abuse of church relations

Spain’s ombudsman said on Monday that an impartial fee past 12 months devoted to the Catholic Church’s investigation of historical sexual act abuses has gathered testimonies from 445 victims as the nation tackles the issue that international locations in various European locations have acted on the way back.

The Spanish Parliament voted on March 10, 2022 to launch a preliminary official investigation led by Ombudsman Ángel Gabilondo into the extent of sexual abuse by monks and church workers. The Spanish newspaper El País published allegations of abuse involving more than 1,200 victims, sparking public anger and pressure on the authorities.

However, testimony was being gathered and parliament could be replaced sooner than the current government’s term expires this 12 months, a press release from Gabilondo’s workplace noted. While he was “gratified” by the diversity of victims who felt they could come forward, “it’s really important to listen to victims … with respect, seriousness, discretion and confidentiality,” he added.


The Madrid-based regulatory agency is conducting a parallel investigation commissioned by Spain’s bishops’ conference, which for years rejected the idea of ​​taking on a comprehensive strategy to investigate sex abuse.

Noting that the bishops could absolutely cooperate with the government-ordered investigation, the Spanish ombudsman noted that 12 months after receiving his mandate, “we ask for the cooperation of the various circles of the Catholic Church and we hope. to have the ability to quickly depend on it.’

Cardinal Juan Jose Omela, center, president of the Spanish bishops’ conference, speaks during a press conference on February 22, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. The Spanish Ombudsman noted on March 13, 2023 that 445 victims’ testimonies were collected for an impartial fee. . (AP Photo/Paul White, File)

Few nations have government-initiated or parliamentary investigations into abuses like Spain’s.

The most intense occurred in Australia in 2017, when 7% of Catholic monks were accused of abusing minors between 1980 and 2010. Inquiries by judges in Ireland since 2005 have affected the once-dominant influence of the Catholic Church in Irish society and politics.

And in France, an impartial investigation in 2021 estimated that some 330,000 young people were victims of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2020 by Catholic clergy or various lay workers associated with Catholics.

In neighboring Portugal, a panel said more than 4,800 people may have been victims of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the past month.

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