27 Oct Spain: Spanish priest sexually abused over 200,000 children
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
It is estimated that more than 200,000 minors have been sexually abused by Roman Catholic clergy in Spain since 1940, according to an independent commission released on Friday.
Although the report did not provide specific numbers, a survey of more than 8,000 people found that 0.6% of Spain’s approximately 39 million adult population said they had been sexually abused by clergy as children. He said he did.
Spain’s national ombudsman, Ángel Gabilondo, said at a press conference called to present the report’s findings that if abuses by civilians are included, the rate rises to 1.13 percent, or more than 400,000 people. Then he said.
The revelations in Spain are the latest to rock the Roman Catholic Church after a series of sexual abuse scandals, often involving children, around the world over the past two decades.
Unlike other countries, however, in Spain, a traditionally Catholic and highly secular country, allegations of abuse by clergy have begun to gain attention, and accusations from those left behind by the lockdown have begun to gain traction. connected to.
“Unfortunately, over the years there has been a certain desire to deny abuse and to hide or protect perpetrators,” said Gabilondo, a former education minister.
The report criticizes the Catholic Church’s position, calling its response to clergy-related child abuse cases “insufficient.” It recommended the creation of a national fund to pay compensation to victims.
Child Protection Agencies
Just before the report was to be presented in Parliament, the Spanish Bishops’ Conference announced that it would hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday to discuss its findings.
In March 2022, Spain’s parliament overwhelmingly voted to establish an independent commission led by the country’s ombudsman to “investigate” allegations of sexual abuse of “defenseless boys and girls” within the Catholic Church. .
Spain’s Catholic Church, which for years has flatly rejected independent investigations, declined to participate in an independent investigation but cooperated by providing documents on sexual abuse cases collected by the diocese.
But as political pressure mounted, it hired a private law firm in February 2022 to conduct an “investigation” into past and present sexual abuse by clergy, teachers and other church personnel. This investigation was to be completed by the church. end of the year.