The Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) has presented an instruction to clarify and reduce sexual abuse in the religious sphere. Although it was last April when the highest body of the EEC, the Plenary Assembly, approved the rule, today its lines of action have been highlighted. These focus on preventing abuses from recurring and that ecclesial spaces are safe places for minors. In addition, it is intended to clarify the statute of limitations for crimes and an attempt will be made to expand communication with victims and complainants at different procedural moments.

“This is the best tribute that we can pay you,” said the Judge Auditor of the Court of the Rota of the Apostolic Nunciature in Madrid, Jesús Rodríguez Torrente, with respect to the norm, because his job is to fight against sexual abuse in church. Regarding the social attention that pedophilia attracts in the religious sphere, Rodríguez added that this event “concerns the whole of society, since it is something intrinsic.” In fact, he has endorsed this statement by saying that “there are very few cases” that concern the Church compared to those presented among civil society before the Attorney General’s Office in the last year, which has been estimated at 15,000.

In another speech, the priest Francisco César García said that “it is not a day of complacency” since “our members have harmed people in society.” For this reason, he has indicated that he feels ashamed: “We are an ashamed people. We will not get tired of asking for forgiveness, but neither will we get tired of helping the people who suffer from this scourge.”

Of this instruction, binding on all members of ecclesiastical life, he has indicated that they offer it to all institutions that have been harmed by pedophilia so that they can prevent it. Of her, García has indicated that it will help to “eliminate the scourge of the abuses committed against minors.”

Since they were counted, 927 victims have presented current and timeless testimonies against 728 sexual abusers in the Catholic ecclesiastical sphere, the latter being 99% men. Regarding the victims, 82% are male, while the remaining 18% are female. As for the perpetrators, the majority, 378, are clergymen, which represents 52%. More recently, since 2020 there have been 34 victims that have been recorded.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project