The Minister of Justice, Dolores Delgado, has sent this morning a letter to the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Ricardo Blázquez, to request this body all the information in its possession on investigations or internal procedures for reports of sexual assaults and abuse in institutions ecclesiastical Delgado, which fits his request in the framework of cooperation of the State with the Church set out in the Constitution and in the Agreements with the Holy See, justifies it by the need to "shed light on facts that our society can not afford to keep hidden. if you want to face the future with dignity. "
The Minister of Justice recalls that these denunciations "have had a huge public impact" and she expresses her intention to "jointly address" with the Church the phenomenon of sexual abuse of minors for the "sincere concern" that both institutions maintain for these events.
The letter states that the Government is processing the Draft Organic Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents against Violence, which aims to grant special protection to children and adolescents against any type of abuse physical, psychological and emotional. One of the aspects that this rule will address is the extension of the statute of limitations for the crimes of aggression and sexual abuse of minors whose term will begin when the victims reach 30 years.
Delgado explains that these crimes "are in the heart of the Church as in any other institution" can not be hidden or considered as private facts ", but deserve" the maximum social reproach and, when appropriate, the forceful response of the criminal legal system "
Last Tuesday, the minister asked the Attorney General's Office in writing to inform her about the number and status of processing of all criminal proceedings opened for this type of offenses in religious institutions.
The minister stresses the efforts of the Church to eradicate these behaviors with the creation of the 'Protocol of action of the Church in Spain to deal with cases of the most serious crimes committed against morals by clerics' or the' Protocol of action according to the legislation of the State 'to address these cases, which obliges them to denounce them even when they have had knowledge of them in the exercise of their ministry. In addition, he praises the commitment of the Episcopal Conference for having created a commission to update the criteria to be followed.