Bishops’ position on abuse is “a huge insult”, says Catarina Martins | Catholic church

The coordinator of the Bloco de Esquerda (BE), Catarina Martins, classified today as “huge insult” the content of the press conference of the Portuguese bishops, held on Friday, and asked for support for the victims and a new independent commission.

“I cannot explain how it is possible, yesterday, that the bishops thought they could hold that press conference, that they did not realize the enormous insult to all Catholic people in this country”, said Catarina Martins to journalists, in Coimbra, on the sidelines of short session on housing.

Noting that BE is not responsible for talking about the Church, but about “society’s responsibilities”, Catarina Martins defended that the country should act. “If the church does not see what it has to see, we as a society must act”, stressed the blockist leader, asking for psychological support for victims of sexual abuse, but also legal support.

On the other hand, Catarina Martins defended the existence of a new independent commission, which could continue the “extraordinary work” of the current one and accused the Portuguese church of having covered up the abuses and of continuing to do so.

“If the church wants to close its eyes, the country cannot close its eyes. And a new independent commission is needed and an independent commission that gives security to the victims to make their complaints. And also gives security to the country, which by protecting the victims and by drawing consequences from what happened, is also capable of making visible the terrible cover-up that the Catholic Church has done and continues to do”, accused Catarina Martins.

The president of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP), José Ornelas, sent on Friday any compensation to victims of sexual abuse to their perpetrators, indicating that there will be no compensation by the institution.

“As regards support for victims, the issue of compensation is clear, both in Canon Law and in Civil Law. If there is an evil that is done by someone, it is that someone who is responsible, to speak of compensation”, stated José Ornelas.

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