Cyprus Mail

Thousands abused by members of Portugal’s Catholic Church in past 70 years, report finds

a church is seen on the day portugal's commission investigating allegations of historical child sexual abuse by members of the portuguese catholic church will unveil its report, in lisbon
A church is seen on the day Portugal's commission investigating allegations of historical child sexual abuse by members of the Portuguese Catholic church

At least 4,815 children were sexually abused by members of the Portuguese Catholic Church – mostly priests – over the past 70 years, a commission investigating the issue said in its final report on Monday.

“(We want) to pay a sincere tribute to those who were abuse victims during their childhood and dared to give a voice to silence,” said the head of the commission, child psychiatrist Pedro Strecht. “They are much more than a statistic.”

Most of the perpetrators – 77% – were priests and most of the victims were men, Strecht said, adding that they were abused in Catholic schools, priests’ homes, confessionals, among other locations.

Jose Ornelas, head of the Bishops’ Conference, attended the final report’s presentation and will react to it later on Monday. The Church has previously said it was prepared to “take appropriate measures”.

The Portuguese commission started its work in January last year after a report in France revealed around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused over 200,000 children.

The abuse allegations have come from people from various backgrounds, from every region of the country and also from Portuguese nationals living in other countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas.

The commission, which says it is independent, was financed by the Catholic Church. Asked by Reuters in December 2021 if that could be a threat to the commission’s independence, Strecht said he would be the first to walk out and denounce if the church intervened in the process.

Related Posts

Germany bans neo-Nazi group, raids members’ homes

Reuters News Service

More than 100 dead, 150 injured in Iraq wedding inferno

Reuters News Service

Corpses, body parts of 12 people strewn across Mexico’s Monterrey in spate of violence

Reuters News Service

Thousands flee Karabakh to Armenia, death toll rises in fuel depot blast (Updated)

Reuters News Service

A third of US Democratic senators call for Menendez’s resignation

Reuters News Service

Italy to allow migrant expulsions on public order grounds – draft

Reuters News Service