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The Spanish Catholic Church has collected the testimony of more than 900 victims of sexual abuse


The Spanish Catholic Church has collected the testimonies of more than 900 people who were victims of sexual abuse within it when they were minors, the institution announced on Thursday 1er June in a report, entitled “To Shed Light”. According to Father José Gabriel Vera Beorlegui, communication director of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), the 927 victims whose testimony could be collected accused 728 members of the Church, “for most priests”.

Of these priests, 63% are dead and 36% are still alive, with the oldest cases dating back to the 1940s. Among the victims, 82.62% are boys and 17.38% girls. “One hundred and ninety-nine testimonies are being examined in order to go through a pastoral or judicial process”said Father Vera Beorlegui.

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80 minors abused in Bolivia by a Spanish priest

The figure of 927 victims is far below the 1,957 recorded since 2018 by the Spanish daily El País, which created its own database. It’s the newspaper El País which revealed at the end of April the case of the late Spanish priest Alfonso Pedrajas, whose diary revealed that he had abused more than 80 minors in Bolivia, where he had arrived in the early 1970s.

The case gave rise in Bolivia to at least eight complaints against priests of the Society of Jesus, including Mr. Pedrajas and three other Spanish religious, Luis Maria Roma, Alejandro Mestre and Antonio Gausset, all of whom are now dead. In March 2022, the Spanish Church announced that it had collected the testimonies of 506 people.

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The World with AFP