A child plays with a teddy bear.Carlos Rosillo
The only homeland man has is his childhood, wrote the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who did not have it easy. Miguel Delibes elaborated on the idea: "Childhood is the common homeland of all mortals." What we consider our identity, or our self, is nothing more than our imperfect memory, and nothing has marked us as much as the most ancient memories of that time in which we learned to live. We prefer to look at childhood as a happy time, without worries and under a protective cloak, but for too many people that stage was an ordeal and ruined what came next. Life subjected them to very harsh tests - mistreatment or neglect by their parents, sexual abuse by their caregivers, harassment by their peers - before they had a minimum maturity to face it. The childhood of raped children does not serve as a homeland,of children raised in troubled homes, of girls mutilated by an aberrant tradition, of child beggars, of child soldiers, of children left to their fate on a border.
Twelve parental vetoes: long live ignorance
Green Faith Believers, Converts, and Heretics
Spain had not distinguished itself in recent history for a very vigilant attitude towards attacks on minors.
For a long time no one paid attention to the phenomenon.
Just as sexist violence was considered a private matter, as a couple, in which no one should put their noses, pedophilia was seen as a disease and it was believed that the best thing for everyone, even for the victim, was silence, avoiding the scandal, that each one silently carries his cross.
Two decades ago, the
directed by Marty Baron, in a very courageous investigation in the most Catholic city in the United States, opened the spigot of a colossal scourge: sexual abuse by members of the Church. The wave swept half the world: Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany… A year and a half ago, Pope Francis lifted the papal secret on pedophile crimes, in force since 1972, to facilitate criminals to respond to ordinary justice. A year ago, the French bishops confessed their "blindness and deafness" to some 10,000 cases of abuse.
As nothing even remotely similar has been done in Spain, some religious orders have begun to expose their internal investigations. And this newspaper had to be the one to set up the first database of documented cases in this area: 817 victims, which will only be the tip of the iceberg.
The most serious attempt in Spain to dynamite this culture of cover-up is about to end in the Senate: the law for the protection of childhood and adolescence. The norm —with preventive measures, which avoids the traumatized minor from having to testify several times in court, which extends the prescription of pedophilia until the victim reaches 35 years of age— gathered in Congress a very broad support, rare in this legislature. With the notorious exception of that party that is said to have family and Christian values, but at the same time it campaigns by demonizing unaccompanied foreign minors, that is, children in need of protection. The Vox electoral poster that faces a masked and threatening immigrant boy, allegedly showered with public money,with an old woman on the minimum pension is not just a toxic hoax and immorality. It is putting children on the target of hatred. Dehumanize them. Nothing that we have not seen in history with terrible consequences.