NewsDisturbing report reveals children's tragedy in Spain

Disturbing report reveals children's tragedy in Spain

Priests, bishops, and cardinals preside at Holy Mass with the College of Cardinals for the Opening of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Priests, bishops, and cardinals preside at Holy Mass with the College of Cardinals for the Opening of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Images source: © GETTY | Antonio Masiello
ed. MUP
9:17 AM EDT, October 28, 2023

An estimated 200,000 minors in Spain have experienced sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy since 1940, according to a report compiled by an independent commission.

A survey carried out with over 8,000 participants revealed that around 0.6 percent of Spain's adult population, which is approximately 39 million people, admitted to being victims of clergy sexual abuse in their childhood.

"The percentage extends to 1.13 percent, representing more than 400,000 individuals, when non-clerical cases of molestation are included," informed Angel Gabilondo, the Spanish human rights spokesman during a press conference where the study's findings were disclosed.

These revelations join a stream of scandals relating to sexual exploitation within the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, frequently involving children.

"Regrettably, there has been a trend for many years to deny the abuses or attempt to cover them up or guard the offenders," said Gabilondo, a former Spanish Minister of Education.

The report criticizes the Catholic Church's stance, terming its response towards instances of child abuse by clergy as "inadequate". It proposes the establishment of a state fund for compensating the victims.

On the eve of the report's delivery, the Spanish Episcopal Conference announced an exceptional meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss the findings of the report.

Exploitation of Children in Germany, France, and Ireland

An independent French commission in 2021 discovered that since 1950, around 216,000 children, predominantly boys, had suffered sexual exploitation by clergy.

In Germany, between 1946 and 2014, 3,677 incidents of violence were identified. In Ireland, over 14,500 individuals received compensation under a government program for victims of violence in juvenile centres administered by the Catholic Church.

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