Argüello calls for “respect” for the rules of operation of the EEC after approving the plan for reparations to victims

Argüello calls for “respect” for the rules of operation of the EEC after approving the plan for reparations to victims
Argüello calls for “respect” for the rules of operation of the EEC after approving the plan for reparations to victims

MADRID, 9 Jul. (EUROPA PRESS) –

The Archbishop of Valladolid and President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), Luis Argüello, has asked this Tuesday for “respect” from society and administrations for the rules of operation of the Church. His statements were made after approving the ‘Comprehensive reparation plan for victims of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons equal in law’ (PRIVA).

“The Episcopal Conference of the Church in Spain has its own rules of operation, for which we ask that society and the administrations respect them,” said Argüello at the extraordinary plenary meeting held by the CEE to vote on the PRIVA.

In this regard, he pointed out that the EEC is not signing a decree “now” that obliges all the dioceses, the 400 religious congregations. “Rather, we are providing ourselves with criteria for communion so that people who may think that they need to be repaired, that they have the right to this repair, can first go to each diocese, to each religious congregation,” he explained.

Regarding PRIVA, Argüello added that it is especially focused on “wanting to be a subsidiary plan” for when legal, civil, criminal and canonical avenues have been exhausted, and “even the possible resources for civil reparation of the consequences are closed avenues.” “That is why with this plan we say that the Church keeps the door open to be able to listen to any victim. To be able to receive their complaint or accept their pain, and to respond with a proposal for comprehensive reparation,” he stressed.

The president of the EEC has also asked for forgiveness from the victims: “Even though we know that requests for forgiveness may seem trivial if they are not accompanied by these facts or these decisions that we are now reporting on,” he said.

The bishops’ plan will apply to those victims whose cases have expired or whose abuser has died, who cannot be tried by civil, criminal or canonical means, and will include financial compensation. The plan, as the prelates announced last week, “will involve personalizing the victim’s case and providing technical, psychological, medical and also spiritual support.”

The PRIVA has been prepared by the Advisory Service of the Offices for the Protection of Minors, and has incorporated the observations of the bishops in their various meetings; the ideas collected in the Message to the People of God ‘Sent to welcome, heal and rebuild’ (Plenary November 2023); the indications of the Episcopal Council of Legal Affairs; of the Compliance body of the CEE; and of the CONFER. It includes indications from the report of the Ombudsman, and from the meetings with the victims, some of which have been made public and others not.

 
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