No obligation to involve victims' representatives

Spanish bishops present plan for abuse compensation

Madrid - The bishops in Spain have now agreed on a concept to compensate those affected by abuse. However, the new rules are not legally binding.

Published  on 09.07.2024 at 19:01  – 

After months of deliberation, the bishops in Spain agreed on a compensation plan for victims of sexual abuse on Tuesday. The plan provides for "holistic reparation" and includes psychological, social, spiritual and financial aspects. This is also intended to compensate victims whose cases are time-barred under criminal law or cannot be prosecuted by the courts for other reasons. Following sustained public and political pressure, this represents a turning point. Until now, the church in Spain had generally only paid compensation after the relevant court judgements had been made.

A special body is to be set up to implement the plan that has now been finalised. The task of this body will be to examine each case individually in order to find individual solutions. The commission, consisting of church, legal and medical-forensic experts, may include a representative of the victims in its deliberations, but does not necessarily have to do so. "What we have adopted today is not a legally binding decree that binds dioceses and religious orders," clarified Archbishop Luis Argüello, President of the Spanish Bishops' Conference. Rather, it is about fulfilling a "moral obligation". (KNA)