Monday, August 15

The Pope asks the Spanish bishops for “total collaboration” with the victims of abuse, “who are the center of everything”

The Pope has asked the Spanish bishops “to accompany the victims, who are the center of everything, and to collaborate in everything, which is what we want, and above all to prevent so that these things do not happen again”. The president of the Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, acted as spokesman after the meeting that the episcopal leadership (Omella, Osoro and Argüello) held this morning with Francis in the Vatican and that served, as advanced, to “know the demands of the victims of abuse and the role that the Spanish Church is carrying out”.

Despite the fact that the Information Office of the Episcopal Conference insisted on making everyone believe that it was a meeting prepared in advance, the truth is that Omella requested the meeting after meeting the victims of the Stolen Childhood association, whom He promised to take his demands to the Pope.

“We have obviously talked about the abuses. How we are dealing with it, and the Pope has encouraged us to continue on this path,” Omella said. For an hour, the leadership of the EEC spoke with Bergoglio about the drama of pederasty in Spain, as well as other challenges, such as migration, the emptied Spain and evangelization, as well as the war in Ukraine, although the weight of the conversation revolved around the role of the Church in the issue of abuse.

“You already know that there is the Ombudsman for the People, on the other hand the commission of Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, external to the EEC”, explained Omella. On this point, the Cardinal of Barcelona insisted that “we have always talked about collaboration with the whole world. The other, whether to join or not, we are waiting for it to be constituted (the Gabilondo commission), its objectives and methodology”. Despite this, Omella showed “an open attitude to collaborate, we always think of listening, collaborating and accompanying the victims. Anything that can help, fantastic.”

The Pope is quite informed of what is happening in Spain, despite what the bishops “have told him how little we know about the commission and its methodology.” Bergoglio “listened with interest, and made his contributions in a positive way”. For Omella, the Cremades audit “can be used for other countries, it is original. It is not the methodology of Germany or France, we want to help them to do it well”.

On a possible trip to Spain, the president of the EEC pointed out that “the Pope reflects a lot, we let him think, to see if he decides soon. We are looking forward to his coming, Santiago awaits him with open arms, and Catalonia too, for the Ignatian year. We make him the offer, and the Pope continues to reflect”.

They also noted reflections on the war in Ukraine and the possible papal visit to kyiv and Lebanon. “The Pope bears the concern of the war, he is continually saying it, his wish is to be able to go to those countries of the periphery and pain, to accompany. Hopefully he can go.” As an anecdote, Omella asked about her knee. “And he told me: only the first step, after the first step, everything goes away. So I think he is willing to go where it takes.”

Finally, the bishops found out from the press about the paternity of the bishop emeritus of Solsona, Xavier Novell, who has just become the father of twin girls: “Yesterday was he a father? I have not heard. May he be a good father and accompany his children well and educate them well”

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