In a staggering revelation, a 700-page long report released by the Spanish national ombudsman Angel Gabilondo, it has been estimated that over 200,000 minors have been abused by the Roman Catholic clergy since 1940 in the country.

The poll conducted by the independent commission of over 8,000 people found that 0.6 percent of Spain’s adult population of around 39 million people said that they suffered sexual abuse by members of the clergy when they were still minors.

“Unfortunately, for many years there has been a certain desire to deny abuses or a desire to conceal or protect the abusers,” said Gabilondo while addressing the press.

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Over the last two decades, the allegations against the Spanish Catholic Church have mounted to a great level often involving children. The report is also critical of the clergy as the response by them was “insufficient” thus, it recommends the state to pay reparations to victims.

Spain’s parliament in March 2022 overwhelmingly approved the creation of an independent commission led by the ombudsman to “shed light” on allegations of sexual abuse of “defenceless boys and girls” in the Catholic church.

The church, initially reluctant, said in June that it has discovered 927 cases of child abuse through a complaints procedure launched in 2020, and in response to that it has set up a “child protection” office.

El Pais, a leading Spanish Newspaper, states in their investigation of 2018 dark facts dating back to 1927 about thousands of victims and alleged abusers. The recent report is dubbed as the “tip of the iceberg” by them.

The church’s abuse crisis is rampant all across Europe-first surfaced in 2002-and these investigations stir governments to take serious steps to stop the malice. Spain has been leading the effort as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the release of the report was a “milestone” in the country’s democratic history. Child Protection Activist, Juan Cuatrecasas, commented, “This must be the start of something, not an end in itself.”