Another "Independent Commission" to investigate clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

The Portuguese Episcopal Conference has set up an "Independent Commission" to document the scope of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy during the period 1955 to 2022. In doing so the Portuguese follow in the footsteps of the CIASE report which uncovered the shocking extent of sexual abuse in France over the last 50 years. The commission's motto is to "Give voice to silence," which captures the painful reality that most victims will be intimidated and threatened into not reporting the crime to their parents or civil authorities.

The Portuguese interdisciplinary commission of seven is headed by Pedro Strecht, a child psychologist, and includes sociologists, judges, and psychiatrists.  They will collect "testimony"  and "complaints" through online surveys and by searching through legal, diocesan, and media archives. However, Strecht emphasized that the goal is to "study" what happened, not "investigate" - even though findings may be forwarded to the Attorney General's office. This leaves us worried and wondering whether this will be one more exercise in obfuscation and the minimization of crimes by which some clergy abuse their moral authority to satisfy their depraved sexual urges. 

CONTACT:  Marc Artzrouni, SNAP Europe, ([email protected], +33 - 6 95 73 65 92), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager,  (267-261-0578 [email protected]),Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected] ), Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President  (814-341-8386,  [email protected] )

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