“The Spanish Church is far from complying with what the Pope demands”


The Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, has sent this Monday a letter addressed to the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, in which she shows her “surprise” at the reaction of the institution after Belarra’s speech in Congress in which he affirmed that “the Church has been an accomplice in cases of abuse of minors” in his bosom, he said during the Parliamentary debate on the new child protection law. Cardinal Omella issued a press release in which he accused the Minister of “dirtying” the work of the Church. Now, it is Belarra who counterattacks and accuses them of being “far from complying with the commitments demanded by Pope Francis.”

The bishops accuse Ione Belarra of "dirty" the Church's work to highlight its cover-up against abuses

Bishops accuse Ione Belarra of “dirtying” the Church’s work by underlining its cover-up against abuses

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“I have to convey our surprise to you at your statement through a press release since your adherence and public commitment to the postulates of Pope Francis in this regard are well known,” says the letter sent by the Ministry of Social Rights to the cardinal. Omella and to which elDiario.es has had access. “In recent years, Pope Francis has been especially belligerent against this scourge, even demanding the resignation of the bishops who cover up these cases. In addition, he has asked the authorities and members of the Church not to be silent about these serious problems. crimes and that what is necessary is done so that they come to light in a transparent way, since, as he has stated, “the biggest scandal in this matter is to cover up the truth,” he continues.

Belarra affirms that, despite this call, “the Spanish Catholic Church is far from complying with the commitments demanded by Pope Francis”, and denounces that the problem of pedophilia within his Church has not yet been investigated in depth ” . If they had done so, the letter continues, “it seems clear that, if they did, the data would resemble those of other European countries.”

The ministry headed by the leader of Podemos gives as an example the investigations carried out by ecclesiastical institutions in other countries, such as France, “which in seventeen months came to identify around 3,000 victims. And it points out that in Spain it has been the Newspaper The country who, precisely this weekend, has launched the first database on the subject.

In fact, as Belarra denounces, “the State Attorney General’s Office itself in 2019 demanded that the Spanish Catholic Church stop filtering the suspicions of sexual abuse that come to it and report them directly and immediately to the competent authorities.” “Something that, for the moment, still does not happen”, says the letter, which ditches: “it is precisely the Catholic Church, out of respect for the selfless work and of inestimable value that thousands of Catholics and Catholics do out of love for their neighbor every day in our country, the main interest in ensuring that all cases of sexual assault are known, as well as that the aggressors are tried and the victims repaired. ”

Vatican response

The Vatican nuncio has come out precisely to the step of the controversy also this Monday. “No one can question the credibility of the Church,” he assured the ambassador of Pope Francis in his speech before the Plenary Assembly of the Episcopal Conference, where the president of the bishops, Juan José Omella, denounced “ideological imposition” and “populist solutions” in the midst of the crisis.

“No one can interpret a lack of transparency or refusal to support what the Pope asks in this regard,” stressed the Nuncio, who explicitly supported the note that this Friday the bishops published in response to Minister Ione Belarra, and noted “the work well done by all of you who, seconding the wishes of the Holy Father, immediately paid attention and gave institutional channel, at the Diocesan level, in matters of abuse of minors.”

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