Spain study finds 58 cases of sexual abuse to minors within the Catholic Church

Jurist [Pittsburgh PA]

February 12, 2022

By Tahira Mohamedbhai | York Law School, GB

The Universidad de Navarra (University of Navarra) in Spain published in a presentation Friday its findings in one of the nation’s first investigations into sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church .

The report released by the northern Spanish region found 58 cases of sexual abuse by Catholic institutions since 1948. Allegations of sexual abuse of minors have been widespread, but the University of Navarra found that perpetrators include priests, members of the church, and teachers spanning across 17 church and school institutions. The investigation comes after a news report by El Pais in December identifying the concern of abuse within the Church sparking a further investigation.

Being handed to local prosecutors, the report could lead to Catholic Church institutions being sued for damages. In a news conference, Navarra’s Minister for Migration Policies and Justice, Eduardo Santos stated that the problem lies not with the Catholic Church but “inside the Church,” and that these findings are only the “tip of the iceberg” a more expansive issue, with seven more victims coming forward after the publication of the report.

Head of the Spanish Bishops conference confirmed it will set up internal commissions to investigate allegations at a local level, however, some left-wing politicians have called for the Congress to investigate and Spain’s Socialist Party has gone so far as to suggest the national ombudsman investigates.

Only resurfacing now in Spain, scandals of sexual abuse of minors within the Church have been identified in other countries including, Italy, other regions in Spain, and France.