After thousands of cases of abuse of children and young people became known in Portugal, the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference has now reached a decision. We want to remember the victims of abuse. Compensation is not necessary because the wounds are irreparable anyway.
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Just sponge over it?
In Portugal, the Catholic Church deals with the abuses of those in charge committed by those responsible in a much more “reserved” manner than, for example, in Germany. While the victims of abuse are compensated by the German Bishops’ Conference with sums of money in the millions, the victims of the Catholic Church in Portugal not only go away empty-handed, but also – to put it mildly – have to be mocked.
Remembering the victims must suffice
Portugal’s church refuses to give any form of compensation to victims of abuse. Instead, a commemoration of the victims at the already planned penitential service with the Pope is planned. For this purpose, the establishment of a committee with an “independent character” is planned, as the Catholic Internet portal reported. We want to listen to the abuse victims. According to the Portuguese bishops, that was completely sufficient.
The wounds are irreparable anyway
The President of the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Jose Ornelas, explained the decision by saying that the cases of abuse were individual crimes. A lump-sum compensation for the victims of the Catholic Church is out of the question. The wounds of the victims are irreparable.
Review of training plans
The presiding bishop also confirmed that he would do everything possible to ensure that these cases of abuse would not be repeated. He was determined to do that. Ornela also wants to review the respective training plans in the seminaries, where there have been frequent attacks on those in charge in the past.
Refurbishment apparently not desired
The announced review of the curricula in the seminaries alone raises questions. What could curricula have to do with the crimes of those in charge of the Catholic Church? However, in view of the large number of these criminal acts, the average age of the victims around 11 years and the nature of the sexual assaults, one could get the impression that it was not a matter of “individual assaults”, but of a catholic ritual performed in the church. This could sometimes be a reason for only half-heartedly showing the willingness to deal with the mass sexual abuse of children and young people. Chairman Ornelas’ statements amount to a mockery of the victims.