July 25, 2021

The bishop of Ávila affirms that he wants to extend "a veil of suspicion" for cases of pedophilia | Society

During his first address as bishop of Ávila on Saturday, José María Gil Tamayo, former secretary general and exporter of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, said that "they want to unfairly spread a veil of suspicion over the immense multitude of priests" with recent publications on the cases of pedophilia that have been committed and silenced within the Church in recent decades. For this reason, Gil Tamayo wanted to address in the Cathedral of Avila some words of "encouragement" and "support" to all innocent priests who may feel affected. "Thank you, brother priests for your service!" He exclaimed. The former secretary of the Episcopal Conference has also stressed that, from the ecclesial community, apologize for the cases of pedophilia and has assured that "they are working on its eradication and prevention."

Gil Tamayo has spoken these words after EL PAÍS published several reports that have revealed that the Spanish Church has concealed cases of pedophilia in its. The cardinal, archbishop of Valladolid and current president of the Conference, Ricardo Blázquez, has also participated in the episcopal ordination. In his homily he has not made any reference to the abuse scandal that affects the Church. The majority of the bishops of the 70 Spanish dioceses have also been present at the Eucharist.

The publications of this newspaper led the Spanish Episcopal Conference last October to announce the creation of a reserved commission to update its protocols against abuse. The current ones date from 2010 and do not oblige the bishops to denounce before the civil authorities the cases they know, and simply "invite" the relatives to go to court. Only five dioceses have their own protocols that oblige the religious to comply with the law of the minor of 2015, which obliges these crimes to be reported to the prosecution.

Gil Tamayo already acknowledged a month ago in an interview with the agency Efe that, for years, the Church has saved a "complicit silence " in cases of pedophilia, although he framed them within a context of "inaction of the entire Spanish society". "It is true that the Church is bound to a more coherent testimony than anyone else, but this does not exempt the rest from assuming their share of responsibility in this shared common culture of silence," admitted the then spokesman for the Spanish bishops. Days after that interview, Blázquez openly acknowledged in the name of the Church the "abuses of various kinds" that have been committed and thanked the victims for their "courage to denounce them," since "they help the Church to become aware of what has happened and the need to react decisively. "

Member of the commission against pedophilia

The Conference of Spanish Religious, an institution that brings together all the orders and congregations of Spain, called on Tuesday senior superiors to address sexual abuse and take effective measures. The majority of pedophilia complaints that have come to this newspaper accuse members of religious congregations. This Thursday, in addition, the Catalan Jesuits announced that they will investigate the cases of abuse in their schools during the last 60 years. For the moment the ecclesial leadership has refused to make a report to investigate its past, an investigation that has been carried out in other countries such as Germany or Ireland.

Gil Tamayo (Zalamena de la Serena, Badajoz, 1957) has been for the last five years the secretary of the dome of the Spanish bishops. During that time he was in charge of the Conference, also as spokesperson, to explain the cases of pedophilia and other social issues on which the Spanish Church decided to make its position visible, such as surrogate motherhood, the blades in the gates of Melilla and the educational pact. It is also part of the commission that is studying the updating of the new protocols.


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