"The cases of the past are cases of the present (...). The pain of the victims does not prescribe. It is necessary to investigate and report possible cases of abuse." The Archbishopric of Madrid, through the Repair Projecthas broken the dynamic of silence and refusal to investigate the abuse of minors in the Church in the past, an unfortunate constant in the Spanish Church.
From Lugo to Córdoba: religious abuses for which the Church has not paid
The diocese, led by Cardinal Osoro, has released a video to "disprove false beliefs about abuse and its consequences." And it does so in the midst of a deep division within the Episcopal Conference on how to act before the investigation commissions that have been proposed both in Congress and in the Ombudsman. And, this is not trivial, he does it a few days before the Archbishop of Madrid is received by Pope Francis to, among other issues, address the drama of clerical pederasty in Spain.
And it is that the diocese of Madrid is one of the few that attends, investigates and accompanies the victims. Of its territory, and of other bishoprics. Under the premise that "a single case of abuse is already too many", from Repara they denounce that "the prejudices of society and the stigmatization of the victims hinder the actions that are necessary and urgent".
There is no "case against the Church", the denunciations help
"In order to leave false beliefs behind, truthful information, communication and transparency are required," they confirm from the office, which in 2021 assisted 103 victims of abuse, in the Church and in other realities. Faced with those who maintain that they denounce them harm the Church, or that there is a kind of 'general cause' against the institution (a position defended, among others, by the Secretary General of the EEC, Luis Agüello), the Archbishopric of Madrid emphasizes that "in reality, reports of possible abuses help to confront and prevent the occurrence of this type of situation".
"What really harms him is the silencing and mistrust of the victims." Or, as Cardinal Osoro has commented more recently to his intimates, "the denunciations are an opportunity for the Church to improve and to support the victims." "The complaint helps", confirms the video of Repara.
"That there are no complaints does not mean that there are no cases", point out those responsible for the fight against abuse of the diocese of Madrid, who stress that "the cases of the past are cases of the present, especially when the wound of the victims is still open and even if the abuser is deceased". For this reason, they affirm that "it is necessary to denounce possible cases of abuse."
Abuses in the Church, "a monstrosity"
Repara, with the protection of Cardinal Osoro, maintains that defending that "the percentage of abuse in the Church is minimal" is not justifiable, because "when it occurs in the Church it is even more serious and more scandalous because it contrasts with its moral authority and its ethical credibility. If a single case of abuse is discovered in the Church, it already represents a true monstrosity in itself".
Faced with the dynamics of concealment and not informing the complainants, Repara maintains that "not believing the victims implies double pain." "There are no false accusations, but difficult to prove, because whoever declares himself a victim of abuse and denounces it has little to gain and much to lose", since it means turning around again and resurrecting the pain. Victims "rarely invent stories related to their intimacy," she defends.
What's more: the Archbishopric of Madrid denies that the victims want to harm the Church, but rather "heal wounds" so deep that they make it very difficult for them to "name who abused them" or "name what they have suffered" until " 30 or 40 years later. Despite what pederasty deniers say, "the passage of time does not heal wounds. Pain does not prescribe."
"There is no minimum or maximum age for victims" because "in an asymmetrical relationship based on the abuse of power, and which ends in sexual abuse, there is no consent", given that "the victim's freedom has been compromised by the type of relationship she has with whoever abuses her", concludes Repara.
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