20 May, 2022 @ 11:32
1 min read

Probe by Spain’s Catholic Church into child sex abuse branded ‘near useless’ by prosecutor

priest church Saint John S Seminary Unsplash
priest church Saint John S Seminary Unsplash

SPAIN’S Proscutor’s Office has slammed an internal investigation by the Spanish Catholic Church into sex abuse allegations as ‘biased’ and ‘of little use’.

Spain’s Episcopal Council vowed to properly investigate allegations of child sex abuse by clergy in January after the Church was accused of decades of cover up.

It came after El Pais newspaper handed over a dossier to Pope Francis in December cataloguing abuses of 1,237 victims by priests in Spain over a 75-year period.

In February, Spain’s Church said a private law firm, Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, would oversee its investigations, but at the time the move was criticised by a victim’s association who said it was a ‘smokescreen’.

Now it has emerged that Spain’s Proscutor’s Office believes the same thing, according to a letter sent by them to the ombudsman tasked by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to oversee an independent investigation back in March.

“Audits or partial investigations entrusted by the Church to private law firms, where victims lack a safe space in which to recount their experiences and are asked to fill in a form that refers to them as ‘affected’, should be discarded and considered of little use,” said the letter from the prosecutor’s office to the ombudsman, reported by El Pais.

Currently there are 68 cases of alleged child sex abuse connected to the Catholic Church being investigated by courts across Spain.

Spain is one of the last countries in Europe, bar Italy to launch a full investigation into child sex abuse by the clergy.

France recently presented the 2,500-page Suavé report, carried out externally but funded by the Church, on murky practises taking place in its inner sanctum, citing at least 216,000 victims of between 2,900 and 3,200 paedophile priests since 1950.

Other countries to have taken the plunge include Belgium, Ireland and Germany, with the US blazing the trail in 2002.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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