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World News

'Victims can no longer be silenced,' Spanish gov proposes independent commission to investigate Catholic Church abuse

by Kelly Valencia

Spain's Prime Minister has announced his cabinet is working on a proposal for the creation of what would be the country's first official investigation into the depth of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic clergy. 

Pedro Sanchez said on Monday the commission would be headed by the country's ombudsman and would include experts, victims' associations and the clergy. 

He wrote on Twitter: "Victims can no longer be silenced. It is time to repair your pain and prevent it from happening again. With a commitment that abuses committed within the Church will not go unpunished. Thank you, @Palomas_Alejandfor your voice, one of the many that have broken through."

Suspected abuse of children has been in the spotlight in the country since El Pais newspaper reported it found 1,200 cases in December leading to several proposed means of investigation without any yet fully starting. 

Responding to the allegations, the Conference of Spanish Bishops announced it would set up commissions at a diocese level to hear complaints from abuse victims and ruled out any nationwide investigation. 

The socialists, which rule in a minority coalition with junior partner far-left Unidas Podemos, have filed a parliament petition to drum up support from other political groups for the creation of the ombudsman-led commission.

The final decision for a parliamentary committee depends on a vote planned for later this month.

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