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After talks with Pope Francis, Spain's Catholic dioceses will collect abuse allegations

After talks with Pope Francis, Spain's Catholic dioceses will collect abuse allegations

MADRID, January 14 (Reuters) - Following a Friday discussion with Pope Francis about abuse allegations, Spain's Catholic Church will establish local commissions to hear complaints from victims.

The results of a three-year investigation by El Pais, which claimed to have exposed potential assault by 251 priests and some laymen from religious institutions between 1943 and 2018.

On December 2, its correspondent announced that his letter to the Pope was handed to him. While the papal entourage and journalists were flying from Rome to Cyprus, the country said.

Cardinal Juan Jose Omella, the president of Spain's Bishops' Conference, defended the Vatican's sexual abuse allegations and stated that each diocese would establish a commission to investigate the allegations.

Omella said at a press conference that the government will "save complaints and support those who believe they have been harmed" and prevent such events from happening again.

In 2002, sexual abuse scandals in the global Catholic Church resurrected headlines, when the Boston Globe published a series of articles on abuse of minors and the widespread culture of concealment within the Church.

Last June, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis was a worldwide "catastrophe." Since his election in 2013, he has taken a series of steps to combat sexual abuse of minors by clerics.

The Spanish church has rejected the suggestion that it set up an independent inquiry commission, as it has been done in France and has been announced in Portugal recently.

Omella said it's better for victims to be handled by local dioceses and the commissions to "clarify and carry out all the necessary procedures as required by the Holy See and civil courts."

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