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Abuse Reuters picbanner.JPG
Reuters
Abuse Reuters pic.JPG
Reuters
World News

Audit of Spanish Church abuses finds more than 2,000 victims

by Reuters Journalist

An investigation commissioned by the Spanish Catholic Church into child sexual abuse by members of the clergy and non-clerical staff has so far identified 1,383 complaints and 2,056 victims, an audit of the inquiry has showed.

The Spanish Church has been grappling with an abuse scandal since a 2021 investigation by El Pais newspaper uncovered more than 1,200 alleged cases. It follows similar scandals involving the Catholic Church in a number of countries, including the United States, Ireland and France.

The results of the audit of the ongoing investigation, pulled together by Cremades law firm, were included in a more than 1,000-page report the Church published on Thursday.

The Spanish Bishops' Conference estimated around 1,000 cases of abuse after cross-referencing various reports, which it said showed that some cases may have been taken stock of several times, but acknowledged there were many unreported cases yet.

"The data contained in this report will never be definitive. It's important to bear in mind that other episodes of abuse took place too long ago for them to come to light or that some victims do not want to tell their case," it said.

The Church remains committed to learn about all the cases to help heal the victims' pain and prevent further abuse, it added.

More than one in 200 Spaniards may have been sexually abused by Catholic priests, according to a survey released by Spain's human rights ombudsman earlier this year.

The ombudsman sent a report to parliament criticising the Church for not cooperating more fully with the investigation and seeking to "minimise the phenomenon".

Spain's Catholic Church, which has apologised, said it would compensate victims of sexual abuse even in cases that have not been concluded because the perpetrator has died.

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