The Jesuits of Catalonia will investigate abuses in their schools in the last 60 years | Society

The Jesuits of Catalonia will investigate abuses in their schools in the last 60 years | Society

The Jesuits of Catalonia will be the first religious order in Spain, and the first institution of the Catholic Church in the country, to undertake a rigorous internal investigation of the possible sexual abuse of minors committed in their centers. In line with the initiatives carried out in France and Germany, and while the Episcopal Conference Spanish still refuses to take that step, the Society of Jesus and Jesuïtes Educació announced in a statement that they have decided "to undertake a more systematic investigation of possible cases of abuse of minors and improper behavior than in the past, going back to the sixties , may have happened in schools. " The decision has been taken as a result of the information published in EL PAÍS that affects his order: "The search for information about a known case shows us that we need to systematize the information that may exist".

This newspaper reported on Monday of the case of Luis Tó González, a professor at the Sant Ignasi school in Barcelona Y sentenced to two years in prison in 1992 for abusing a girl. The religious did not serve the sentence because he did not have a record. After the sentence, He was sent to Bolivia, where he died in 2017. The Jesuits, one of the few orders that has responded to this newspaper with self-criticism before the news of abuses, admitted that it was a mistake not to open a canonical process to Luis Tó González and that then "the seriousness of the facts was not assessed well". "Reviewing this case, faced with the questions raised, we are aware that action in cases of abuse has not lived up to it," they acknowledged.

However, the investigation of Luis Tó has brought to light what was hidden in the past. After the publication of the news, complaints have been received from other alleged victims in that school and the order has been contacted, which has finally decided to investigate the matter thoroughly. "We are aware that there is still a pending issue in the investigation of the past (...) We are concerned about the need to ensure a faithful and honest memory of the past and to respond to possible victims (...). this investigation always respecting the will of the victims and the right to the presumption of innocence of the people ".

The Sant Ignasi school, where Tó was a professor, came to his defense in 1992, when he was convicted. "The leadership and the parents' association supported the aggressor priest seamlessly and demanded to keep silence about the case," writes Pepe Rodríguez, coordinator of the Journalism faculty of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​in his book Pederasty in the Catholic Church, published in 2002. He relates that when the priest left for Bolivia after the condemnation, he was dismissed with a tribute and was still described in a complimentary manner three years later in a commemorative book of the center. Rodriguez says that the priest had already been the subject of several accusations at the school during the previous two decades, which were ignored.

The Catalan Jesuits admit that "sometimes the management of these cases may have been deficient, or the measures taken may have been incomplete." "We apologize, in the first place, to the victims, and to their families, we regret not having always lived up to the trust placed in them," they declare. The statement, which provides victims with an email to file complaints ([email protected]), concludes by insisting on the will of the order "to give light to cases that require further clarification."

The Jesuits say that for 10 years they have implemented training and prevention programs in all their schools and are convinced that "in the present they are safe spaces".

The initiative of the Jesuits of Catalonia is one more symptom of a slow change of direction in the Spanish Church. Another reliever has been known this week: the Bishopric of Bilbao has denounced to the Prosecutor's Office of Bizkaia a priest of the diocese after the declaration of three women who have denounced him for "touching". This is the presbyter responsible for the area of ​​Mungia, Bizkaia, Egoitz Arruza, technical specialist in industrial electronics who was ordained in 2005. He has been parochial vicar in Derio, Zamudio, Lezama, Larrabetzu and Goikoelexea, and both the Bishopric of Bilbao and The "scouts", a youth group in which the priest worked as a responsible person, have separated him from his responsibilities. The reported incidents occurred between 2015, 2016 and 2017, when women belonged to scouts. One of them was minor when the denounced facts happened and they accuse him of "inappropriate behaviors" against sexual freedom"

The association of "scouts" informed the Bishop of Bilbao, Mario Iceta, on November 26 and the following day he prudently removed the priest of its public functions and an internal investigation was opened, which concluded last Wednesday. Their conclusions were sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last Thursday and Friday, December 7, it was brought to the attention of the prosecution.

If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to [email protected]


Source link