The Spanish Episcopal Conference will not participate in the commission of investigation of the sexual abuse of minors in the Church, entrusted to the Ombudsman by parties such as PP, PSOE and Podemos. Nor will it open its files in a general way to investigate these attacks, although it will provide information on very specific cases if this commission so requires.
This was announced this Thursday by the secretary general of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Luis Arguello, who has explained that one of the reasons for not participating is that the Church is only investigated in relation to sexual abuse of minors.
“It does not seem very correct to us that the gaze has only been placed on the cases of abuses of the Church”explained Argüello, who has referred to the Anar Foundation report that reveals an 80% increase in child abuse in Spain.
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He has criticized that, “being such a serious social problem”, the Congress of Deputies addresses the Ombudsman requesting that only the Catholic Church be investigated. “It does not seem opportune to us. We have that reservation”, he has indicated.
Not all files will open
As for the way in which they intend to collaborate with the investigation, the spokesman for the EEC has warned that they are not willing to a general opening of the canonical archives. “No organization would do it,” she justified.
Argüello believes, in any case, that an expectation has been generated about the archives that does not correspond to reality. It looks like a medieval moviethat they are going to enter a file and they are going to find something like in The name of the rosesomething hidden and secret and no, things are much simpler”.
Thus the Church will offer information on specific cases of religious accused that are required and that it is necessary to know their ecclesial history.
“We will collaborate in what is asked of us and corresponds to the rules of the game established in the civil and canonical sphere,” he summarized.
80% are prescribed
Argüello has detailed that of the cases known to date – among which are those reported to the dioceses and those published by The country– 80% of them are older than the 80s, that is, they are older than 40 years and are prescribed from the civil and criminal point of view.
In addition, Argüello has continued, most of the defendants have already passed away and the superiors who were there when the events occurred “are no longer there.”
The Secretary General of the EEC has opined that things “are not being done very badly” when in this 21st century there are only nine documented cases of abuse and only one affects a diocese, while another six are on trial and have been acquitted because the crimes have prescribed and another is currently in court.
Argüello has contrasted these figures with the “thousands of cases” that occur in other areas of society.
“We are making a way, We are very sorry for what happened, that affects our moral credibility and that is why we have been giving accounts and taking steps forward for years”, explained the spokesman for the bishops, who has hoped that this collaboration of the Church can be extended to “other areas of society where the problem continues growing online.