What more is there to say?
First, of course, is to welcome the fact that the cases are being investigated at all, and that the numbers are low. But here, as elsewhere, there is evidence that some clergy at least put heavy pressure on a young complainant to simply withdraw his allegations. Given the high proportion of sexual abuse cases outside of the church that never get reported, we should recognise that the reporting rate inside the church will also be low – especially when powerful authority figures put pressure on the weak to just button their lips and go away.
From Times Online:
Vatican investigating 14 sex abuse cases in Spain
The Vatican is investigating 14 cases of alleged child sex abuse committed within the Spanish Catholic Church over the past nine years it emerged today.
The incidents of abuse are alleged to take have taken place between January 2001 and March 2010. Charles Scicluna, the promoter of justice in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said today they amounted to “less than one case every year”.
Monsignor Scicluna stressed that Spain was one of the countries with the “lowest number of alleged abuse investigations” and said no convictions had been made.
The Vatican investigation in Spain widens the number of alleged abuse cases involving the Catholic Church after recent cases in Italy, Ireland and Germany.
Despite falling church attendances, the Catholic Church in Spain is said to wield much power which victims claim makes it hard for them to denounce their abusers.
Juan Pedro Oliver, a lawyer who acted for a 12-year-old boy who was sexually abused by Amador Romero, a priest in Granada in 2001, said that his client came under pressure to withdraw the allegation.
Romero was later jailed for 18 months for sexual abuse of a minor.
“The bishop, instead of helping the victim to make the allegation, did exactly the opposite,” Mr Pedro said.
“He kept the priest in the same village and made it difficult to go ahead with the case.”
- Clerical Abuse: Will Germany follow Ireland? (clericalabusewatch.blogspot.com)
- Celibacy and a Wounded Church: Readers’ Observations (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- Belgian Abuse Report: “Almost Every Diocese”. (clericalabusewatch.blogspot.com)
- The Vatican – “A Rogue State” (opentabernacle.wordpress.com)
- New twist in Belgian Catholic abuse legal row (clericalabusewatch.blogspot.com)