That’s according to an independent commission’s survey indicating that up to 0.6 percent of Spain’s adult population were victimized as children.
The figure increases to around 400 thousand when factoring in abuses by lay members. Victims and their advocates accuse the church for years of denial, concealment, and protection of the abusers, causing a great deal of emotional distress and feelings of betrayal among survivors.
The report criticizes the church’s response as insufficient and suggests a state fund to compensate victims. The church claims to have set up protocols for dealing with such incidents. However, investigations by a leading newspaper have uncovered a significantly higher number of victims and alleged abusers.