Restoring faith: Spanish Catholic church takes on abuse with new set of guidelines

Leaders from various Christian denominations attended.

Leaders from various Christian denominations attended. Photo credit: Conferencia Episcopal Española

IN a groundbreaking development, the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) has taken a decisive stand against sexual abuse within the church.

Religious leaders presented a set of comprehensive guidelines aimed at bringing clarity and curbing abuse in the church at a conference on Thursday, June 1.

While the rules were initially approved in April by the CEE’s highest authority, the Plenary Assembly, leaders wanted to clarify and further emphasise them at the ‘Giving light’ CEE Catholic church conference.

These guidelines are focused on preventing the recurrence of abuse, maintaining church and religious spaces as safe environments for children, and ensuring timely action against offenders while prioritising support for victims.

Addressing the public, Father Francisco César García highlighted the gravity of the situation, stating, “Today is not a day for self-congratulation; some of our members have caused great harm to individuals”. He expressed his deep sense of shame and vowed to relentlessly provide support to those who were abused.

Since the creation of the reporting process, a staggering 927 victims have come forward, sharing their current and historical testimonies against 728 individuals responsible for sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Spain.

The church hopes they can now begin to rid the scourge of sexual abuse.

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