Clergy has been allegedly estimated to have sexually abused Over 200,000 minors in Spain since 1940, according to an independent commission published on Friday.
There is no specific figure on the report but according to the poll of over 8,000 people it has been found that 0.6 percent of Spain’s adult population of around 39 million people said they had suffered sexual harassment by members of the clergy at their infant stage.
The abuse percentage rises to 1.13 percent — or over 400,000 people if lay members are included, according to Spain’s national ombudsman Angel Gabilondo disclosed to the news conference during the presentation of the report.
These reports in Spain are the latest to affect the Roman Catholic Church after a series of sexual abuse scandals spreading around the world involving children, over the past 20 years.
The former education minister, Gabilondo said: “Unfortunately, for many years there has been a certain desire to deny abuses or a desire to conceal or protect the abusers.” The report is critical of the attitude of the Catholic Church, calling its response to cases of child abuse involving the clergy “insufficient”. It recommended the creation of a state fund to pay reparations to victims.
Spain’s parliament has unanimously approved the establishment of an independent commission led by the country’s ombudsman in March 2022 to “clarify” allegations of sexual harassment of “defenseless Teens” within the Catholic Church.
Spain’s Catholic Church refused to investigate and probe their own clergy, but they cooperated by providing documents on cases of sexual abuse that had been collected by dioceses.
A private law firm was tasked in February 2022 through political pressure with an “audit” into past and present sexual abuse by clergy, teachers, and others within the Church, which will be concluded at the end of the year.
But Spanish Church said in June that about 927 cases of child abuse have been discovered through a complaints procedure launched in 2020.
The church said: “According to experts, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” the newspaper wrote on Friday before the report was published.