Report On Catholic Church Sex Abuse A ‘Milestone’ For Spain’s Democracy
An independent commission has highlighted concerning details of more than 200,000 children estimated to have suffered sexual abuse from Spain’s Catholic clergy. The 700-page report – ordered by the Congress last year – emerged from a public probe by the ombudsman.
A survey carried out on 800,000 members of the public found 0.6% of the adult population said they had suffered sexual abuse as children by members of the clergy. The percentage rose to 1.13%, more than 400,000 people, when including institutions overseen by the Church.
Spain’s Ombudsman Raises Concerns Over “Silence”
The report calls for a public event to recognise victims, the creation of a state fund to pay compensation and for the Catholic Church to help victims in the recovery process and introduce reforms to prevent the abuse from repeating and pay compensation.
Ombudsman Angel Gabilondo said the percentages were in line with similar reports in other European countries. An investigative commission in France estimated based on surveys that some 330,000 minors had been abused by church personnel over 70 years.
Speaking on the “devastating impact” on victims, Gabilondo criticised the Church for its inaction and attempts to cover up or deny the allegations. “What has happened has been possible because of that silence.” “There are people … who have never put their lives back together.”
A Reality Nobody Talked About Has Been Made Known
The unprecedented public probe into child sex abuse in Spain’s Catholic Church followed an inquiry by the El Pais newspaper, which began in 2018 – with a report into its findings published in 2021. The inquiry has created a database of more than 1,000 alleged cases of abuse.
Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described the ombudsman report as a “milestone” in the country’s democracy. “We are a better country because a reality that everyone knew about for many years, but nobody talked about … has been made known.”