The Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) has today shown its support for the Bishop of Alcalá de Henares, Juan Antonio Reig Plá, after the recent publication of the news in eldiario.es that the bishopric offers "therapies to cure homosexuality". The Secretary General of the EEC, Bishop Luis Argüello, has denied that these therapies are medical and that they aim to cure homosexuality. As he said this morning at the press conference after the closing of the plenary meeting of the bishops, it would actually be sessions of "spiritual accompaniment" for those people who are not happy with their sexual orientation. Argüello has ensured that the use of the verb "cure" is very common in the Church and that it does not always allude to a medical question but a spiritual one.
"We are concerned about attending an exercise of manipulation of the truth and intentional disinformation that ends up provoking hatred," said the secretary, who described the information as "false" and took advantage of to make ironic allegations about hate crimes that several groups they throw against Reig Plá. "When a group of people enters a Church insulting and annoying people, what do we call it? Flowers and birds or liturgiphobia? ", Has commented on the concentration in front of the cathedral of Alcalá of LGBTBI groups last Tuesday.
The Spanish Episcopal Conference calls for respect for people who want to access these talks voluntarily and for parents who want their children to receive "that help" of accompaniment. "When I have been asked if homosexuality has a cure, I have said no," said the secretary.
In his appearance, Argüello has also referred to the scandal of pedophilia in the Church. After six months hit by a constant trickle of cases of abuse of minors by priests, the EEC has taken a step forward and has asked the Vatican to grant the competent authority to legislate cases of sexual abuse throughout the Church Spanish, also on those committed by members of religious orders (independent of the power of bishops), as declared by its secretary general. The EEC is a collegiate body that has no power over the dioceses, so if the Pope accepts this initiative, the Spanish ecclesial leadership will create a regulation that all the dioceses of Spain (70 in total) must comply with. "When we receive the acceptance of the Holy See, the new law will be taken to the plenary assembly for approval and then sent to the Vatican for sealing," said a spokesman for the EEC. The ecclesial leadership is convinced that Rome will accept the proposal to promulgate this "general decree" that will allow it to elaborate a new ecclesiastical law that, until now, is absent in canon law. In the 52 years of life of the EEC, this is the sixth general decree that requests the Vatican.
On the possibility that, in the hypothetical case of the Pope accepting the petition, the EEC investigate the past, the secretary general has been resounding: "We will not make a report. We will investigate the cases that communicate us, but we will not go with a magnifying glass. There is no data. What do we do? Take a time tunnel? " The spokesman also of the ecclesial leadership has asserted that in the archives of the dioceses there are no "documents" that refer to these crimes, so to make a report as they have done the German and Irish conferences "is not possible" in Spain . "I have reviewed those of my diocese (Valladolid) and I have not found anything", he has justified.
In the new regulations, according to Argüello, the obligation to take the known cases to the Prosecutor's Office will be considered. In the current protocols (not binding on bishops) the prelates are not obliged to communicate the cases to the authorities, but to "invite" the relatives of the victims to do so. The bishops have also given their approval during the plenary meeting in April to the creation of a general directory "where precise guidelines for the prevention of abuses and pastoral accompaniment" of those affected are given. For the moment, the ecclesial leadership has not specified when it will make public the new protocols that, since last October, is drafting a reserved commission.
Regarding the victims, Argüello stressed that it is also necessary to include unjustly accused priests in this group. In his speech, he reiterated that pedophilia is a social evil that not only affects the Church. "When a case of abuses in a public school comes out, the media does not ask for explanations from the Ministry of Education. Why?" The secretary emphasized.