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The jesuits of Catalonia investigate abuses in schools in the past 60 years

The jesuits of Catalonia will be the first religious order in Spain, and the first institution of the catholic Church in the country, to undertake an internal i

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The jesuits of Catalonia investigate abuses in schools in the past 60 years

The jesuits of Catalonia will be the first religious order in Spain, and the first institution of the catholic Church in the country, to undertake an internal investigation rigorous of the possible sexual abuse of minors committed in their centers. In the line of the initiatives carried out in France and Germany, and while the Spanish Episcopal Conference, refuses still to take that step, the society of Jesus and Jesuïtes Education announced in a press release that they have decided to "undertake an investigation in a more systematic of the possible cases of abuse on minors, and improper conduct in the past, going back to the sixties, have been able to happen in schools". The decision has been made as a result of the information published in THE COUNTRY, affecting his order: "search for information on a case already known to us shows that we need to systematize the information that may be".

This newspaper reported Monday the case of Luis Tó González, professor of the college of Sant Ignasi of Barcelona and was sentenced to two years in prison in 1992 for abusing a girl. The religious did not meet the penalty for not having a history. After the sentence, he was sent to Bolivia, where he passed away in 2017. The jesuits, one of the few orders that has responded to this journal with self-criticism to the news of abuse, they admitted that it was a mistake not to open a canonical process to Luis Tó o'leary and then "is not evaluated well the gravity of the facts". "Reviewing this case, before the questions raised, we are aware that the actions taken in cases of abuse has not been at the height", recognized.

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however, the research on Luis Tó has brought to the surface what was hidden in the past. After the publication of the news, this newspaper has received complaints from other alleged victims in this school and has contacted the order, who has finally decided to thoroughly investigate the matter. "We are aware that there is still a pending subject in the research of the past (...) We are concerned about the need to ensure a memory a faithful and honest in the past and to respond to possible victims, ( ... ). Will inform you of the results of this research while respecting the will of the victims and the right to the presumption of innocence of the people".

The college of Sant Ignasi, where Tó was a professor, came out in his defense in 1992, when he was sentenced. "The leadership and the association of parents supported seamless the priest perpetrator and demanded to be silent about the case," writes Pepe Rodríguez, coordinator of the faculty of Journalism of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in his book Paedophilia in the catholic Church, published in 2002. Relates that when the priest went to Bolivia after the conviction, he said goodbye with a tribute and yet it was described in laudatory three years later in a commemorative book of the centre. Rodriguez ensures that the priest had been the object of various accusations in the college during the previous two decades, which were ignored.

The jesuits catalans admit that "sometimes the management of these cases has been deficient, or the measures taken have been incomplete." "We ask for forgiveness, in the first place, to the victims, and their families, we regret not having always been at the height of confidence", they declare. The statement, which puts at the disposal of the victims an e-mail to file complaints (escoltar@fje.edu), concludes by insisting on the determination of the order to "give light to the cases that require even clarification."

The jesuits claim that since 10 years ago have implemented training programs and prevention in all their schools and are convinced that "in this [these] are safe spaces".

The initiative of the jesuits of Catalonia is more of a symptom of a slow change of direction in the Spanish Church. Another relevant step has been learned this week: the bishopric of Bilbao, has denounced the prosecution of Biscay to a priest of the diocese after the declaration of three women who have been accused of "groping". It is the priest responsible for the area of Mungia, Bizkaia, Egoitz Arruza, technical specialist in industrial electronics, which were ordered the year 2005. He has been parochial vicar at Derio, Zamudio, Lezama, Larrabetzu and Goikoelexea, and both the bishopric of Bilbao, such as scouts, youth group, in which the cure was working as a responsible, you have been away from their responsibilities. The alleged acts occurred between the years 2015 and 2017, when women belonged to the scouts. One of them was a minor when they happened the facts and accuse him of "inappropriate behaviors against sexual freedom".

The association of scouts reported to the bishop of Bilbao, Mario Iceta, the past 26 of November, and the next day departed out of the way to a precautionary to the priest of his public functions and is opened an internal investigation, which concluded last Wednesday. Their conclusions were forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last Thursday, and on Friday, December 7, was brought to the attention of the office of the prosecutor.

If you are aware of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, please write to us with your complaint to abusos@elpais.es

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