Home Actuality Abuse of minors in Portugal. Catholic Church under fire

Abuse of minors in Portugal. Catholic Church under fire

Judging by the public reactions, coming from the most diverse sectors, Catholic or not, the press conference last Friday where the president of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP), Bishop José Ornelas, explained what the hierarchy will do with the conclusions of the commission that investigated the abuse of minors in the Catholic Church.

The general tone is one of reproach for the fact that there has not been a commitment to immediately remove members of the clergy suspected of abusing minors. The CEP received a list of names from the commission led by Pedro Strecht – which the commission also sent to the MP – but only committed to sending it to the dioceses, for them to find out more. “I cannot remove a person from the ministry just because someone came along who said “this gentleman abused someone”. But who said it, in what place, where? Taking away from the ministry is a serious thing”, explained the president of the CEP. Ornelas and the hierarchy are also being heavily criticized for rejecting the idea that the Church should compensate victims: this should be the responsibility of the abusers.

This Sunday, at the end of the afternoon, Manuel Clemente, Patriarch Bishop of Lisbon, ended up throwing more gasoline on the fire, saying that not even the bishops can suspend suspect priests, only the Vatican: “This is a very serious penalty, it is the most grave that the Holy See can give and it is the Holy See that can give it.” Or, in other words: “If we have facts, and proven facts and subject to adversarial proceedings, of course – we are in a country of law and laws – it can only be done by the Holy See, it is not something that a bishop can do for si.”

Read more in Diário de Notícias

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