Portugal creates a commission to investigate possible cases of sexual abuse against minors within the Catholic Church.
The so-called “Independent Commission”, created by the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, will begin to work from January 2022. Its objective is to collect testimonies from all those who want to denounce abuses.
“Encouraging victims to come forward requires a naturally long waiting period, mainly to (allow) them to gain confidence so that they can feel that their word is important, to tell about the traumatic experience of their past lives,” Pedro explained at a press conference. Strecht, head of the Independent Study Commission on the abuse of minors in the Portuguese Catholic Church.
The commission, which is not a formal investigation, expects to deliver its findings by the end of 2022.
“What scares me is not knowing more than the reality that will come to light, and I hope it is as close as possible to reality, that is our interest,” said José Ornelas, director of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.
In Portugal, where more than 80% of the population declares themselves Catholic, there has never been a large-scale investigation of cases of abuse in the Church and the number of victims is unknown.