New report exposes systemic sexual abuse of children within the Spanish Catholic Church

(For Immediate Release December 20, 2021) 

New report exposes systemic sexual abuse of children within the Spanish Catholic Church

Early in December, El Pais, a newspaper in Spain, delivered a 385-page report to Pope Francis detailing the sexual abuse of hundreds of children at the hands of 251 members of the clergy over the last eight decades. Typical cases involved teachers who for years abused entire classes of children. 

The report provides details for each case: order/diocese, date, initials of perpetrators, etc. When this information is added to the many hundreds of cases previously documented by El Pais, the report paints a picture made all the more appalling by the fact that the Spanish Catholic Church refuses to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in its midst. Spanish Church officials apparently seek to deny that there is a problem, or at least attempt to minimize its scope. However, this has not prevented the Church from paying out over two million euros to victims in order to buy their silence.  

Spain is the latest in a long list of countries (United States, France, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Australia) in which the systemic sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy has been uncovered - in this case by a newspaper. As is customary in these cases, the Pope has referred the dossier to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).  The CDF, originally charged with defending the Church from heresy, was previously known as the Inquisition. We here at SNAP hope that the CDF will root out those who commit appalling crimes against children as vigorously as it combatted heretics during the Middle Ages. 

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] )  

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is


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