Bishops in Spain are refusing to participate in a national sexual abuse inquiry as they feel the Catholic Church is being unfairly targeted.
In March, Spanish MPs voted in favour of an inquiry into cases of sexual abuse at the hands of the country’s Catholic church.
The report aims to discover perpetrators of sexual abuse, as well as “those who covered up or protected them.”
According to a study conducted in 2018, 1,246 victims have been identified since the 1930s.
However, some clergy aren’t open to participating in the new investigation.
Bishop Luis Argüello, spokesman of the Spanish bishops’ conference, said: “We want to state that to carry out an investigation of abuses only in the church, when it is clear that out of 15,000 open cases in Spain, only 69 refer to the church, is a surprising decision.”
Instead, Bishop Luis is calling for the government of Catalonia to launch an investigation into all cases of sexual abuse, naming the church as one of the institutions being examined.
The Bishops Conference is currently carrying out its own enquiry, in a similar way to that of France, Portugal and the United States.
Bishop Luis went on to say that the government is overestimating what can be found in diocesan records – instead, he’s urging victims to come forward to one of 70 offices established by the church in order to tackle abuse.
For those seeking an alternative, non-religious group to speak to, he’s signposted victims to NGOs and associations.