Spanish Catholic Church took testimony from more than 900 victims of sexual abuse of minors

Spanish Catholic Church took testimony from more than 900 victims of sexual abuse of minors

June 1, 2023, 2:48 PM

June 1, 2023, 2:48 PM

The Spanish Catholic Church compiled the testimony of more than 900 people who were victims of sexual abuse in its bosom when they were minors, the institution admitted in a report presented this Thursday in Madrid.

“We are talking about 927 victims who have presented testimony”explained in the presentation the priest José Gabriel Vera Beorlegui, director of the press office of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE).

This figure is far from the 1,957 victims registered by the Spanish newspaper El País since he launched an investigation in 2018 and created a database.

It was this newspaper that launched on April 30 the abuses of minors perpetrated by Spanish Jesuits in Boliviawhich has caused a scandal in this country.

In March 2022, the Spanish Church had taken testimony from 506 people, as reported at the time.

These 927 victims accused 728 members of the Church, de “the majority are clerics, they are priests” ordained, specified Vera Beorlegui, about a report called “To give light”, which was described as the first publicly made by the Spanish Church.

Of the attackers, 63% died and 36% are alive, the spokesman continued, placing the oldest cases in the 1940s.

According to a communiqué released by the EEC, more than 99% of the aggressors were men, and boys also predominated among the victims, in 82.62% of the cases, with 17.38% being girls.

Vera Beorlegui explained that “199 testimonies are being studied in the offices to be able to culminate with them that pastoral or judicial process that is appropriate.”

The decade in which the most cases were collected was the 1970s, with 172, and the oldest testimonies of abuse collected date from the 1940s.

“These are the first two cases that exist, very old people who have come to tell a story of abuses committed against them,” Vera Beorlegui narrated.

The report is called “To give light” because, as explained by the president of the EEC, Francisco César García Magán, “he wants it to be a declaration of intent and a road map”.

Unlike countries such as Germany, Australia, the United States, France or Ireland, Spain has not completed any major investigation on this subject, although there are two in progress.

The Spanish Defensor del Pueblo (ombudsman) is carrying out his commissioned by Parliament, and the Church entrusted his to an independent law firm.

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