Monday, August 15

The Church encourages victims of pedophilia to go to ecclesiastical courts



The Spanish Church this Sunday encouraged the victims of cases of pedophilia in schools or religious entities to which go to court, especially the ecclesiastical, because they are more “hard”, to “go all the way”.

Ecclesiastical sources in Barcelona, ​​whose archbishopric is presided over by Cardinal Juan José Omella, also president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), have told Efe this Sunday that the Spanish Church has received “normally” the investigation of the newspaper El País on 251 clergymen and some Spanish lay people who are accused of pederasty, and also from the will to “get to the end” in the investigations.

As published by El País this Sunday, “the Church has opened a great investigation, unprecedented in Spain” on those 251 defendants, the result of a three-year work of the newspaper, and whose conclusions he sent to Pope Francis this December.

The Pope, in turn, transferred the 385-page report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the institution that centralizes the investigation of pedophilia throughout the Catholic world and is directed by the Spanish Jesuit Luis Ladaria.

The newspaper also delivered the study to the president of the EEC, Cardinal Juan José Omella, archbishop of Barcelona, ​​who immediately transmitted it to the ecclesiastical court of Barcelona, where it was registered, for the investigation to begin, although then the investigations must branch out according to the competent entity. They affect 31 religious orders and 31 dioceses, as the newspaper explains.

“Complex investigation”

The aforementioned ecclesiastical sources have specified, with respect to the narratives of the victims, that “Anything that is providing light will be welcome”, and they have reiterated that it is important that they “go to court”, because although there are remote cases in the investigation, dating back to 1943, there are more recent ones.

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And they have advised that they do so before the ecclesiastical courts, especially since in canon law these crimes prescribe later than in civil law.

“It is a complex investigation”, these sources have recognized, who have added that, if a complaint is processed before a court, the clarification of the facts is facilitated when there is evidence for it.

The same sources have recalled, in this regard, that if the investigation of cases of abuse committed in schools is initiated by the congregations on which the schools depend, their processing is slower, “since the superiors of the order are not here. but in Rome. ”

The Church, these sources have insisted, wants to “channel appropriately” the complaints of the victims and the information available to them. “We encourage them to take the step, because that way they will also remain in peace,” they stressed.

“The problem is to have victims who want to go to the end,” these sources have acknowledged, who have reiterated the need to present “evidence” to support the accusation and “clarify” what happened.

The same sources have highlighted that the Church makes available to victims the offices created expressly for these cases in 2019 for “comprehensive help”, not only legal, because sometimes “support and listening skills” are also necessary.


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