The president of the Spanish Bishops Conference, Cardinal Juan José Omella, attends a press conference in Madrid, on Tuesday, Oct. 31 2023. Spain’s Catholic bishops on Monday apologized again for sex abuses committed by church members following a report by Spain’s Ombudsman that accused the church of widespread negligence on the matter.
He added that the church would continue working “together on the comprehensive reparation of the victims, on supporting them and deepening the path to their protection and, above all, the prevention of abuse.”
The briefing was called to evaluate the ombudsman’s report released Friday that said the church’s response had often been to minimize if not deny the problem. Included in the report was a survey based on 8,000 valid phone and online responses. The poll found that 1.13% of the Spanish adults questioned said they were abused as children either by priests or lay members of the church, including teachers at religious schools. The poll said 0.6% identified their abusers as clergy members. headtopics.com
Omella said the media’s extrapolation of the survey results “does not correspond to the truth.” The church maintained that going by the survey’s figures, some 4 million Spaniards, or 11.7 % of the adult population, may have been abused as minors in all, a figure it considered to be “barbaric”, suggesting it was not credible.
The ombudsman’s investigation represents Spain’s first official probe of the child sex abuse problem that has undermined the Catholic Church around the world. The estimate from the survey is the first time such a high number of possible victims was identified in the country. headtopics.com
Earlier this year, the bishops’ conference said it found evidence of 728 sexual abusers within the church since 1945, through the testimony of 927 victims, in its first public report on the issue.
Spain’s Catholic Bishops Apologize After Report of 200,000 AbusedSpain’s bishops apologized Monday after a report estimated more than 200,000 minors had been sexually abused by the country’s Roman Catholic clergy since 1940. Read more ⮕