The Socialist Party of the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, requested this Monday in the Parliament the formation of a commission of experts to investigate the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Churchan institution that continues to maintain opacity on this issue.
The objective is form a “commission that reports to the Ombudsman” and that includes “experts, representatives of victims’ associations, also of the clergy, of public administrations”to produce a report “as strong as possible”, explained the socialist spokesman, Héctor Gómez, at a press conference.
We want “face in the most rigorous way possible, but also in the most empathetic and fair way possible with the victims, an issue that our country cannot take longer”, said the socialist deputy on her side Carmen Bald.
Unlike other countries like Australia, Ireland, U.S, Germany or France, in Spain there has been no official investigation to dateneither the State nor the Catholic Church, on pederasty by religious.
The newspaper The countrywhich has a mailbox to receive complaints, has counted 1,246 victims since the 1930sin this country with a strong Catholic tradition.
The churchwhich rules out promoting an exhaustive investigation and affirms that it has implemented action protocols in the face of abuse and has set up offices in the dioceses to receive complaints, recognizes only 220 cases since 2001.
The government will contact “with the Catholic Church to ask for its cooperation” with the commissionas “In other countries it has been the Catholic Church itself that has taken the initiative, as in France,” said Carmen Calvo.
“Our country is playing an important part of the dignity and value of our democracy”stressed Calvo, vice president of the government of Pedro Sánchez until last July.
Parliament admitted another request last week to investigate the abusesbut from the Parliament, requested by the minority partner of the socialists in the government, the radical left of We canand two regional breakaway parties.
The Socialists were optimistic of achieving the support of Podemos and of other parties so that it is their proposal that materializes and the commission of experts can start operating “as soon as possible”said Hector Gomez.
The political impetus for an investigation of the abuses came after a highly publicized case, that of the Catalan writer Alexander Pigeonswho at the end of January reported having been abused by a religious in a Catholic school in the 70s when he was 8 years old.
Sánchez gave an unusual public support to Palomas and received it at the Palacio de Moncloa last Thursday.
(With information from AFP)
A report revealed hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in the German Catholic Church: “More than half of the victims were under the age of 14”
At least 10,000 minors have been victims of sexual abuse in the Church in France since 1950
96 Jesuits abused 81 minors and 37 adults in Spain between 1927 and 2020