Updated: Nov 3
In a startling revelation, an independent commission's investigation unveiled that more than 200,000 children fell victim to sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic clergy in Spain. The inquiry, led by the Spanish ombudsman, highlighted the profound and enduring impact on the victims, emphasizing the Church's passive stance and its efforts to conceal or dismiss the atrocities.
The comprehensive 700-page report, mandated by Spain's Congress, underscored that 0.6% of the country's adult population, approximately 39 million individuals, disclosed enduring childhood sexual abuse by clergymen. Shockingly, this figure rose to 1.13%—over 400,000 individuals—when accounting for allegations against laypersons within Church-run institutions.
Cautioning against the gravity of the findings, Angel Gabilondo, the ombudsman, echoed the emotional toll shared by 487 survivors, revealing tales of irreparable suffering and, tragically, even suicide.
Gabilondo stressed the urgency to address the longstanding suffering shrouded in silence, proposing the establishment of a state-backed fund to provide compensation for the victims.
The investigation followed a rigorous inquiry initiated by El Pais newspaper in 2018, which meticulously documented over 1,000 reported cases of abuse. Despite some cooperation, Gabilondo lamented the Church's reluctance to actively contribute to the investigation, citing the resistance exhibited by certain bishops.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hailed the report as a pivotal step forward for the nation, shedding light on a long-overlooked reality that had been shrouded in silence for far too long."
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