The Ombudsman, Angel Gabilondodelivered this Wednesday to the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) and Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, Juan José Omellathe Report on sexual abuse in the area of the Catholic Church and the role of public powers.
"This morning the Ombudsman delivered to Cardinal Omella, president of the Episcopal Conference, the report prepared on sexual abuse," the CEE reported through the social network 'X' and the Ombudsman confirmed in a release.
Gabilondo presented the report on October 27 to the president of the Congress of Deputies, Francina Armengol; and last Thursday he delivered it to the acting president of the Government, Pedro Sanchezin Moncloa.
In this way, it fulfilled the assignment received from the Congress of Deputies, after the approval of the Non-Law Proposition (PNL), on March 10, 2022, which established that the report should be delivered to the Cortes Generales and the Government of Spain.
The report states that a total of 487 victims, 87% of them menhave reported sexual abuse in the Church before the victim care unit of the commission created by the institution.
In addition, the 777-page document includes a demographic survey commissioned from GAD3 that reveals that 0.6% of the Spanish population says they have suffered sexual abuse by priests or religious during their childhood; 1.13%, in the religious sphere and 11.7% in all areas, of which, 3.36%, in the family sphere.
The Report points out that the response of the Catholic Church, at least at the official level, has been characterized "for a long time" by "the denial or minimization of the problem."
In this sense, it points out that some victims have had to face not only "denial and concealment", but even "pressure" from their representatives in which "they were blamed for the abuses suffered."
However, at the same time, he points out that good practices have been detected in the Church and recognizes "the institutional courage of those who have chosen to assume the responsibility that corresponds to the institution for the victimization produced."
On the other hand, it also criticizes that the public authorities lacked adequate procedures to prevent, detect and react to the commission of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church schools in the past.
It points out that, only very recently, in 2021, prevention and detection mechanisms and procedures were introduced for all educational centers of public or private ownership.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND COMPENSATIONS
The Report proposes twenty specific recommendations. Among them are celebrating a public act of recognition and reparation symbolic to the victims for the prolonged period of time of neglect and inactivity, particularly between 1970 and 2020 or the creation of a state fund for the payment of compensation in favor of the victims.
The Spanish bishops have valued the recommendations proposed by the Ombudsman as "valuable" and have assured that they will design an itinerary to apply them.
Although, with respect to compensation, the prelates assured last week that they will collaborate with the compensation fund recommended by the Ombudsman as long as this mechanism is articulated to compensate all victims of abuse in societynot only those of the Church.
Otherwise, they say that they will also compensate victims of abuse within the Church but through their own mechanisms.
THE BURNS REPORT
At the same time, the bishops are awaiting the results of the audit on the same matter that they commissioned a year and eight months ago. law firm Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo and whose delivery has had several delays.
The prelates decided at the beginning of October to give an ultimatum to the firm to deliver its report, a deadline that the firm has not met, it says it will finished before the end of the yearalthough they will finally wait until the next plenary assembly of the EEC at the end of November to make a decision on the matter.
Sources from the law firm Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo told Europa Press on October 27 that the firm "values and respects" the work of the Ombudsman and that the law firm is "concentrated" at this moment in finishing the report that commissioned by the Spanish bishops, which, as they have pointed out, has a "different approach" but "complementary" to that of Gabilondo.
Specifically, they have pointed out that the document that Cremades will present puts "the emphasis" on "listening to the victims, on repair and in the prevention".