A report released by Spanish Ombudsman Ángel Gabilondo on Friday has unveiled a disturbing pattern of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests in Spain. The report, presented to the Spanish Parliament, aims to hold the perpetrators accountable and raise awareness about the issue of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
Based on interviews with 8,000 individuals, the report reveals that 11.7 percent of respondents were victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests during their childhood or adolescence. The victims, predominantly women, have suffered from mental health issues and some have contemplated suicide.
Last year, the Spanish Parliament established an independent body to investigate the increasing cases of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Following the revelation of 1,237 cases, both the Catholic Church and the Office of the Attorney General initiated a large-scale investigation to identify and convict abusers, as well as those who enabled or covered up the abuse.
Despite public support for the investigation, the Catholic Church continues to encourage members to report allegations of abuse to the church office rather than to the authorities. Several dioceses have not cooperated with the investigation.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez commented on the report, stating that it gives a voice to victims who have suffered for many years. He expressed hope that the perpetrators within the Church will finally face prosecution, calling it a significant step in Spanish history.