The PSOE will register this week in the Congress of Deputies a non-law proposal so that it is the ombudsman, Ángel Gabilondo, who investigates cases of pederasty in the Church and the role of public powers in the face of these abuses, according to what El País has advanced this Sunday and has been able to confirm elDiario.es.
If this proposal goes ahead, the ombudsman will have to prepare a report, “supported by an independent commission of experts”, representatives of public administrations, victims and members of the church itself, that sheds light on the hundreds of cases of violations in the field of this institution, which were committed for decades with total impunity. Socialist sources highlight their commitment “to the pain of the victims” and their intention to “clarify the facts and prevent this from happening again.”
Given the option that the ombudsman is the one to carry out this investigation, for which the Socialists hope to find the support of their coalition partners, the path opened last week by a commission in Congress would decline. The PSOE endorsed the processing of this investigation commission proposed by United We Can, ERC and EH Bildu, but has already expressed its doubts that this was the best way to deal with this matter. “We continue to see the best option. We are going to do it and we are going to do it well,” Socialist sources pointed out a few days ago.
From the PSOE they consider that this option, similar to the one that has been carried out in France and that uncovered more than 300,000 cases of abuse of minors by some 3,000 religious, is the most appropriate formula to avoid media commotion and exposure which may involve a parliamentary commission through which the victims would have to parade, indicates El País. The PNV had already proposed a formula outside Parliament.
The Episcopal Conference was against the investigation commission in Congress and it remains to be seen if it supports the ombudsman who investigates cases of pederasty, given the usual opacity of the Spanish bishops about the investigations that they themselves claim to carry out finished.
Meanwhile, several grassroots Church groups have signed an open letter this week in which they demand “a Truth Commission, financed by the Spanish Episcopal Conference and the Confederation of Religious of Spain, but with an independent mandate to investigate the true magnitude of sexual abuse within the Spanish Catholic Church”. In addition, he has demanded that the Episcopal Conference “stop the concealment of abuses and establish effective measures to search for truth, justice and reparation for their victims and for the protection of minors.”
Parallel to the investigation commission in Congress and the proposal that the PSOE will take this week to the Lower House, the Prosecutor’s Office has opened its own investigation and has asked the superior prosecutors’ offices to send it all the complaints and complaints that are being processed. on assaults and sexual abuse of minors in religious institutions. Some works that episcopal sources consulted by elDiario.es consider will have little travel.
Last December, the newspaper El País delivered both the Pope and the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, a 385-page report in which 251 new cases of child abuse in the Spanish Church since 1943 were collected. until 2018. The data from this journalistic investigation exceeds the official number of cases recognized by the bishops, which barely reach 220 in the last two decades. These are new cases, which could increase the number of victims to 1,237, although the newspaper itself assumes that, only with the collected testimonies, they would add up to thousands.