The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, Sunday proposed the country’s ombudsman lead an independent official investigation into Catholic Church sexual abuse of minors, according to El País. This is the latest step towards justice for Spain minors who suffered abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church’s clergy.
Spain’s Catholic Church has been under intense scrutiny since a report from the El Pais newspaper revealed 1,237 cases of sexual abuse within the church. In response, the Catholic Church opened an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse in December 2021.
Spain government officials are also taking action. Lawmakers voted to open an inquiry into Catholic Church sexual abuse cases last week.
According to El País, Sánchez proposed Spanish ombudsman Ángel Gabilondo lead the parliamentary inquiry. Gabilondo was named ombudsman in November 2021. He formerly served as Spain’s education minister from 2009 to 2011. The move comes ahead of the final vote later this month to approve the parliamentary inquiry.
Thus far, the move towards an inquiry has been met with resistance from Catholic Church bishops. Instead of an investigation, bishops have proposed victims report sexual abuse allegations to an office set up inside the Catholic Church. Activists have praised the government’s move towards an inquiry.