April 16, 2021

The Government will ask the Church for information on pedophilia cases | Society

The Government will ask the Church for information on pedophilia cases | Society



The Minister of Justice, Dolores Delgado, has affirmed that the Government will request from the Spanish Church data on the cases of pedophilia of which it has evidence, of those that it is investigating and those that it has instructed in the past. "I'm going to ask the Episcopal Conference (EEC) through the Ministry of Justice to be informed about the cases and investigations. I think the truth is very important, to prevent it [la pederastia] and for the victims, "Delgado said this morning on Televisión Española. For the moment, the minister has admitted, the Executive is pursuing this request.

Last Tuesday, Justice asked the State Attorney General's Office for information about the causes opened by pedophilia to members of the Church. The reason: "An important social alarm" and "a strong demand for the Government to address this phenomenon". In the last weeks, cases like the Salesian College of Deusto (Bilbao) or those of the diocese of Tarragona, uncovered in the media, have jumped to the political agenda. In the case of the Salesians, the Bilbao City Council asked the "competent institutions" to investigate the allegations of, so far, 14 victims and the Generalitat has confessed that it covered up a case of a religious in 2011.

The person in charge of the Justice portfolio has chosen not to answer the question of whether, as a prosecutor, "she has had proof of cover-up" in some of the processes that have come to light. What worries the Government, commented Delgado, "is the subject of the prescription of these crimes." The minister recalled the Government's concern about the legal period for victims to denounce, which is why, as she insisted, the Council of Ministers approved the preliminary draft of the Organic Law for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents so that they can be report such crimes up to 45 years. In the current law, the offense prescribes 15 years after the affected person has come of age.

On several occasions, the EEC has warned that it is a collegial body and that the bishops it represents do not owe obedience to it, so it does not have data regarding the number of cases and investigations carried out independently by the dioceses. the supervision of the Vatican. On the other hand, the Conference has refused to make a report to clarify its past, as its German or Irish counterparts have already done. The government has also not proposed to conduct a joint investigation through a group of independent technicians.

Since last October, this newspaper has published the accounts of more than thirty victims of clerics in which their cases were not tried and which, at times, were silenced or covered up by bishops or superiors of religious orders. Shortly after the first publications, the EEC decided to create a reserved commission to update its protocols against abuses, which currently do not oblige ecclesiastical leaders to denounce pedophilia before civil justice.

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