The Spanish Church’s hidden compensations for abuse cases

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abuse cases

A revealing report in El País sheds light on the damages paid by the Spanish Catholic Church for sexual abuse cases. The subject has been shrouded in mystery until now.

A secret list contains more than a hundred court convictions and financial compensation. It shows that in some cases the Church paid up to €70,000 for abuse that took place in a Marianist school in Jerez between 1964 and 1976. This is one of the highest known amounts paid out to a single victim.

List leaked

The list was leaked by Alfredo Dagnino, an insider of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE). It reveals the extent of the damages the Church is willing to pay. Although there is no clarity yet about the criteria that will be used for future compensation. The information was originally part of a more extensive report. This was later removed by the CEE from their published document. As a result, the details of each case remained hidden.

Therapy costs

In addition to individual compensation, the Church in some cases also covers the costs of therapy for the victims. In some dioceses, compensation imposed by the court on a priest is advanced by the bishop, who then deducts the amount monthly from the priest’s salary.

Cogesa Expats

Average €10,000 per victim

So far we know from El País database that the Church has paid approximately €2.1 million. Compensations have been paid to 230 victims of 53 paedophiles since 1991. This is only a small part (8.8%) of the 2,608 victims now known to the newspaper. The amounts paid to the victims range from €675 to €72,000. The average is €10,000 per victim. Now it appears that the Church has paid more than was thought because new cases have come to light that were not yet known. El País will soon add these new cases to their database.

Bishops concerned

The issue of paying damages concerns the bishops. Looking at the amounts paid in other countries, the total sum in Spain could be in the millions. In Belgium, the Church has paid an average of almost €6,000. In Ireland, the country with the highest reimbursements, the Church has paid out an average of €62,245. With these figures and more than a thousand recognised cases, Spain could pay out between €6 million and €62 million.

Also read: Major Catholic Church abuse scandal revealed in Spain

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