The bishops say that 80% of the cases of pederasty have prescribed and doubt the legality of the official investigation

The Spanish Church believes that the drama of pederasty is a thing of the past. “80% of the cases of abuse that we have are prior to the 1980s and are prescribed from the civil point of view, although they could be opened in the canonical sphere,” he pointed out. the still general secretary and spokesman Luis Argüello at a press conference, referring to the data reflected in the two reports delivered by El País, its internal investigation (through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Small contributions from the Cremades law firm) and other journalistic investigations, including those of elDiario.es.

Gabino Díaz Merchán, the son of those shot in the Civil War who opposed Juan Pablo II and Rouco Varela

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At the same time, the bishops, who reiterated that they are not going to "institutionally participate" in the commission entrusted to the Ombudsman, pointed out the "dubious legality" of the very fact that the body chaired by Ángel Gabilondo can only supervise the Church. However, they have not submitted an appeal to the Constitutional Court, as two organizations linked to the ecclesiastical far right have done, E-Cristians and One of Us.

"For us, it is a priority to address this problem, listen to the victims, and carry out a path of prevention and renewal," he outlined. the newly elected archbishop of Valladolid. Responding to Gabilondo, who said that the Church has a unique role model, Argüello clarified that "a father has a unique role model before his children, and most abuses occur in families."

“We have our own data, from there we will collaborate in what is asked of us, and that corresponds to the rules of the game in the civil and canonical spheres,” warned Argüello, who wanted to deflate the balloon of expectations around the opening of the ecclesiastical archives. "An expectation has been generated that I don't know where it can come from," said the prelate, who pointed out that "many of the accused persons are deceased, therefore, they cannot defend themselves, and all the ecclesial leaders who were then no longer is it so".

“It's not 'The Name of the Rose'

“If there was a cover-up, is it really going to be put in writing? Sometimes it gives the impression of a medieval story, or it is thought that we are going to find a secret book like in The Name of the Rose”, the episcopal spokesman ironized, who, however, clarified that they are not willing to “a generalized opening of the archives , because no one does that”, but it does mean that specific documents referring to specific people can be made available to researchers. "If they exist," he settled.

Argüello took advantage of the questions on this topic to announce that this very Thursday the Episcopal Conference had addressed El País, offering itself as “mediators” between the victims and the institution (diocese or congregation) where the abuses could take place. Regarding the new cases offered by the PRISA newspaper, Argüello pointed out that there are only "195 new cases", of which 14% correspond to dioceses, and 86% to religious life. And that, as he pointed out, the vast majority are cases from the past.”

“In a way, it gives me peace of mind to know that in the 21st century, in this new dossier, there are only nine cases, of which six have been tried and acquitted by prescription”, and only one referred to a diocesan priest, “who is channeled in the courts”.

“In total, in the 21st century, we have collected fifty-odd cases. In the dossiers of El País about twenty and the report of the Prosecutor's Office supports this feeling. Meanwhile, thousands of cases appear in other areas of society.

“Mobilization in favor of life”

On the other hand, the bishops assured that they support and encourage Catholics to attend the anti-abortion demonstration on Sunday the 26th, but admitted that they, except for a major surprise – and a particular decision – will not go. “The mobilizations in the street are something genuine of the lay vocation. Another thing is that the laity can come accompanied by their pastors. Frankly, I think it's not going to be like that," said Argüello. “This is a lay mobilization, to which we invite. But we would not want it to seem like a manifestation only of the Church, ”he stressed.

"There are a series of legislative proposals -Argüello outlined, referring to the first year of the approval of the euthanasia law-, and we wanted to make a general appeal to all Catholics" against "the culture of death" to say no to this type of laws and generate a mobilization in favor of life“.

Regarding the recent meeting of the Pope with Félix Bolaños, Argüello expressed his joy at the fact that "the Government of Spain wants to meet with the Pope, and it is an inspiring meeting." "We are happy about this inspiration, and we are glad that values ​​are shared, but values ​​are not balloons," he explained, adding that relations with the government "are cordial, but what we ask for is loyalty." Thus, the spokesman recalled the "restlessness that occurred during the meeting with the Prime Minister; some things leaked out before they left this House.”

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