O The objective of the Spanish Government is to deal with cases of sexual abuse that have not received a judicial response, because they are old and have already expired or because of difficulty in obtaining evidence, explained the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, at a press conference in Madrid, after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Bolaños revealed that he himself met last week with the Spanish Episcopal Conference to start talks.

“It seems to me that the Catholic Church has the desire to work”, he assured.

The objective is for the Catholic Church to “suffer and bear the costs” of compensating victims, explained the minister, who argued that “it would not be understood that this were not the case”, as is the case in other “Western democratic countries”.

Félix Bolaños did not reveal how compensation will be calculated and how people entitled to compensation will be recognized, adding that this should be the responsibility of an independent commission, in line with the recommendations of a report by the Ombudsman last October, drawn up at the request of the parliament of Spain.

The Council of Ministers today approved an action plan to repair sexual crimes committed in the Catholic Church and prevent other cases involving minors, inside and outside that institution.

The “Response and implementation plan for the Ombudsman’s report on sexual abuse within the scope of the Catholic Church and the role of public authorities” has an application horizon until 2027 and serves as a basis for the adoption of measures and legislative changes that will be worked on from now on, as explained by the minister.

In the report released in October, the provider collected the testimony of 487 victims of sexual abuse within Catholic Church institutions in Spain and included the results of a survey that estimates that 1.3% of the country’s adult population was a victim of this type of abuse. crimes, which is equivalent to around 445 thousand people.

According to the same estimate, 0.6% of abuses (involving nearly 236,500 victims) were committed by priests or other members of the Catholic Church.

“These are very high, very considerable numbers, which must have an impact on our society”, stated Minister Félix Bolaños, for whom it is a question of compensating “victims forgotten for decades” and in relation to whom there is “an enormous debt”.

“We would like to work together with the Catholic Church”, which “for decades has not provided an adequate response to this problem”, he highlighted.

The Ombudsman’s report insisted, precisely, on the need and importance of compensating victims of sexual abuse in the Church who have so far received no response from public authorities and institutions.

The Church rejected and criticized the figures in the Ombudsman’s report, which it considered mere “extrapolations”, and has said that it refuses to contribute to a compensation fund exclusively intended for alleged victims of abuse within Catholic institutions.

“The Church cannot accept a plan to discriminate against the majority of victims of sexual violence”, the Episcopal Conference reaffirmed today, in a statement.

For the Spanish bishops, “the text presented is part of a judgment condemning the entire Church, carried out without any type of legal guarantee”, in an accusation that is “public and discriminatory on the part of the State”.

“It is a partial social analysis and hides a social problem of enormous dimensions”, reads the same text.

The Spanish Episcopal Conference has so far recognized 1,057 cases of sexual abuse, although it only considers 358 to be proven or credible.

The Catholic Church assured that it was working on a program of “comprehensive reparation” for the victims, without giving details.

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2546907/governo-espanhol-quer-igreja-a-pagar-compensacoes-a-vitimas-de-abusos

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