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Outrage over the bishops' report on abuse that reduces the number of cases: “They are laughing at all the victims”

2024-02-27T18:54:01.962Z

Highlights: Outrage over the bishops' report on abuse that reduces the number of cases: “They are laughing at all the victims”. The Episcopal Conference, which left out of its study more than 300 complaints already admitted by orders and dioceses, continues to correct the balance on its website after internal protests. EL PAÍS launched an investigation into pedophilia in the Spanish Church in 2018 and has an updated database with all known cases. If you know of any case that has not seen the light, you can write to us at: Abusos@elpais.es.


The Episcopal Conference, which left out of its study more than 300 complaints already admitted by orders and dioceses, continues to correct the balance on its website after internal protests: they have already risen from 806 to 888


EL PAÍS launched an investigation into pedophilia in the Spanish Church in 2018 and has

an updated database

with all known cases.

If you know of any case that has not seen the light, you can write to us at:

Abusos@elpais.es

.

If it is a case in Latin America, the address is:

Abusamerica@elpais.es

.

───────────

“This is insane.

We are tired.

They are laughing at all the victims and survivors masked in their Christian cellophane,” says Juan Cuatrecasas, father of the victim of abuse at the Opus Dei Gaztelueta school in Bizkaia and president of the National Association of Stolen Children (ANIR).

He thus reacts to the news, published by this newspaper, that the Spanish bishops excluded in their report on the pedophile scandal, published in December, at least 325 cases that were admitted by the orders and dioceses to the Ombudsman.

This attitude has caused shock to the victims.

Manuel Barbero, the first father to denounce abuse in Marist schools in Catalonia and founder of the Mans Petites association, is still surprised.

“I don't understand,” he repeats.

Especially since among the 39 orders that have been dropped from the report and do not even appear with cases are the Marists, who even reached with him and 24 other families the first collective compensation agreement of the Spanish Church, close to 400,000 euros in 2020. But those cases have fallen out of the strange accounting of victims made by the Episcopal Conference (CEE).

“I have collaborated to try to get some true figures out, not to get that

nonsense

like they are doing.

It is shameful,” he emphasizes indignantly.

The episcopal report, called

To give light

, only counted 806 cases, compared to the 1,460 known accused, with at least 2,608 victims, according to the EL PAÍS public database.

Barbero explains that he was also involved in the path that the Church opened to investigate the scandal, the audit commissioned by the Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo firm in February 2022. He collaborated with his testimony, and his case and that of the rest of the Marists were also sent by the order itself to the parallel investigation of the Ombudsman.

However, now this order has disappeared from the report

To shed light

on the CEE: “I do not understand how the Episcopal Conference commissions a law firm to make a report, they do a complete audit, because we provide them with all the information we had on Marists. , and then he doesn't capture it, it's not serious," he reproaches.

According to ecclesiastical sources, the bishops' report was improvised to overshadow the Cremades audit, which was critical of the Church and pointed out many more cases, a total of 1,382, with 2,056 victims.

The EEC presented the two reports on the same day, on the eve of the Christmas lottery draw, without prior notice and giving prominence to its report.

Koldo Eslava, a victim of abuse among the Marists of Navarra, is also outraged, and wields the certificate granted to him, with recognition as a victim, by the provincial government, the only one that has undertaken a census and care for those affected.

But it does not exist in the Church's accounts: “I feel sad and ignored by the bishops, I exist.”

Members of the ANIR association embrace at the reception event for victims of sexual abuse committed within the Catholic Church, at the headquarters of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on March 23, 2022. Isabel Infantes / Europa Press (Europa Press )

The omissions in the report have also not pleased some congregations and dioceses, who see a “manipulation of figures” to discredit Cremades' work.

“Many dioceses are fed up with the plumbers of the Episcopal Conference,” said a senior official from a diocese.

Following these complaints, the CEE has quietly updated the PDF document that can be downloaded on the institution's website.

In the last two weeks there have been four versions.

The last one is from this Monday morning, after the publication of the information from EL PAÍS, and the cases recorded have already risen from 806 to 888. The EEC has not clarified whether the disappearance of cases is due to an error or is a deliberate decision.

He attributes the difference in counting with respect to the Ombudsman to “different methodologies.”

However, this contradicts the method detailed in

To Give Light

, which states that the “registered” cases are all those that have been “reported, communicated, made known or known by the Church, through of the various possible paths and channels, regardless of whether they have been verified or proven or not.”

That is to say, at a minimum, all known cases should be in this newspaper's database.

Another case that has been left out inexplicably, due to its media coverage, is that of the abuses in the Montserrat Abbey, uncovered by this newspaper in 2019 and recognized by the Benedictine order.

Miguel Hurtado, activist and first victim to report these crimes, states that what happened “demonstrates, once again, that the Church is incapable of investigating itself.”

In his opinion, there is a conflict of interest: “Those who have covered up the cases and protected pedophiles are those who seek to clarify the facts and make the truth known.”

Hurtado sees “it is essential that the State and civil justice act, and for that it is necessary that sexual crimes be imprescriptible.”

In that sense, he believes that "Congress must urgently ratify the proposed law of imprescriptibility for pedophilia crimes that the Parliament of Catalonia approved last week."

Cuatrecasas describes that the victims he represents in his association and many others he knows are tired of “pats on the back” and that the matter “does not move.”

They are in an extreme situation.

“There are victims who are suffering from terrifying consequences and what all this information does is offend and increase the pain.

They are crossing all the limits of re-victimization, lack of respect, humiliation and disregard,” he explains.

The president of ANIR affirms that the path taken by the Church has crossed a point where “when the bishops try to sit down with the victims to talk about reparation,” they will close “the door in their faces.”

The two victims' associations in Navarra are also severe with the bishops: "The EEC at this time does not represent the Catholic Church, it is acting contrary to what it preaches, they are laughing at us, at the victims, who We have offered to chat in a Christian way.

They do not ask for forgiveness, nor do they have any intention of repairing the serious consequences we suffer.

The Pope's recommendations are ignored.

"They have manipulated the figures and this hurts us as much as the crimes we suffer, where is Christian charity?" says Jesús Zudaire, president of the Association of Victims of Abuse of the Catholic Church in Navarra.

Marcos Leyún, president of the Association of Victims of Pedophilia in Religious Institutions of Navarra (AVIPIREN), believes that what happened exposes the Church, “in the face of the EL PAÍS investigation, and in the face of an impartial report like that of the Ombudsman.” of the People who were directly accused of lying and distorting figures.”

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Source: elparis

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