On Tuesday, January 11, an independent commission on pedophilia in the Church began work in Lisbon, Portugal, which will focus on all sexual abuse committed by clergy between 1950 and 2022. As the coordinator Pedro Strecht announced during the Tuesday’s inauguration, the task of the investigating authority will be to determine the scale of the phenomenon and to reach the victims and their perpetrators. How? Victims can report on the website, by phone number or e-mail. – We want to [red. ofiary] they reported without fear what had happened – he added.
The commission counts on the cooperation of the episcopate and the disclosure of files. The investigation is being financed by the Catholic Church. According to Reuters, coordinator Pedro Strecht said he would be the first to report if the clergy posed a threat to the organ’s independence. Representatives hope to be able to present the report by the end of 2022.
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Portugal. Independent commission for pedophilia in the Church. Time to break the silence
The impulse to establish the body was the report of an independent commission in France. He then revealed that around 3,000 clerics have sexually abused more than 200,000 children in the past 70 years. We wrote about the results of the work of the independent commission, among others HERE.
After the publication of the report from France, over 200 Catholics signed a letter addressed to the Portuguese bishops, calling for a similar investigation, arguing that it was time to break the silence on this matter, because pedophilia is a “systemic” problem, “directly related to the exercise of power” in the church. As Reuters commented at the time, after pressure from the faithful, the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Jose Ornelas, announced the establishment of an independent commission in the country at the end of 2021. “The Portuguese Church is the first to shed light on this,” he said. “We are not afraid, on the contrary,” added the priest.