The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference says that they will investigate cases of child abuse and that the pope “agrees” with their steps
Cardinal Juan José Omella, president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) and archbishop of Barcelona, assured this Friday that the Church will investigate abuses committed against minors.
“We are ready to investigate, there is no problem”said the head of the CCE in a press conference he gave in Rome, after a meeting with Pope Francis.
Omella thus referred to the investigation of the Spanish newspaper El País, which in a 385-page report reveals that at least 251 clergymen abused 1,237 minors between 1943 and 2018. The document was delivered to the head of the CCE himself and to the pope in December last.
The Spanish cardinal pointed out that they have sent the report “to all the dioceses and congregations involved” and that they have “established commissions in each diocese, to collect the complaints, accompany those people who feel hurt and prevent these things from happening again in the future”.
“We have responded with the desire to clarify and carry it out, as mandated by the protocols of the Holy See and the civil courts. There is a desire to do so,” he added.
“It is not necessary to multiply entities unnecessarily”
However, Omella denied “for now” resorting to an independent commission at the national level to clarify the facts, so that each diocese is responsible for the complaints.
He justified this decision by pointing out that “it is not necessary to multiply entities unnecessarily” and, because by doing so in each diocese, this treatment is “closer to people.”
“We open the way to get closer to those victims and that these victims can approach those offices of each diocese,” he emphasized.
Omella affirms that this is the “most humane and closest” way of proceeding and that “the Holy See and the Pope are in agreement.”
“The important thing, I repeat, is to look at the victims, it is to look to the future, it is that this does not happen again and that we also be proactive in this way of solving and getting closer; I believe that personal treatment and in the same place is always easier“said the head of the CCE.
Last December, after the report was released, the Spanish ecclesiastical authorities announced the opening of an unprecedented investigation into more than 1,000 cases of pedophile abuse that occurred since 1943.