Bragança-Miranda with three suspects of sexual abuse, none active in the diocese | Catholic church

The diocese of Bragança-Miranda announced, this Saturday, that it received three names of priests accused of sexual abuse, explaining that none of those targeted are currently in office in this area.

In the statement sent to the newsrooms, the diocese makes it known that of the three names received, one has already died, another has already been condemned by canon law and a third is outside the diocese.

The diocese of Bragança-Miranda is currently without a bishop after José Cordeiro was appointed Archbishop of Braga and it was the diocesan administrator, Adelino Gomes, who “received the list of names of those involved in sexual abuse within the scope of the Church in this diocese, resulting from complaints by potential victims”.

The statement begins by considering “meritorious and commendable” the work of the Independent Commission for the Study of Sexual Abuse of Children in the Catholic Church in Portugal, which drew up the list of those allegedly involved.

Of the three names received locally, “one became naturally inconsequential due to death” and the other “is from outside the diocese, so it has already been duly forwarded to the diocese of origin”, reads the statement.

Regarding the other name, it is explained that “he had already been the subject of a canonical process for sexual abuse of minors, a process that was concluded in the meantime and which resulted in the application of disciplinary measures that are in force”.

“If it turns out that the testimonies collected by the Independent Commission constitute new facts, a new canonical procedure will be initiated”, he adds.

The diocese of Bragança-Miranda “affirms its solidarity with the victims, inside and outside the Church” and refers that “it will strive and do everything to ensure that any future denunciation comes to know the respective canonical and civil procedure expressly earmarked for the protection of victims”.

He also refers to the Diocesan Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons, indicating that “it has already been reformulated, according to the determination of the last extraordinary plenary assembly” and that “it is made up of three laywomen and one layman”, with “training in psychology, child psychiatry, law and criminal investigation”.

According to the diocese, this commission “will continue to carry out its work of prevention, reception and follow-up of possible victims, as well as collaboration with canonical and civil bodies, in order to keep the communities of Bragança-Miranda away from the practice of any type of abuses”.

The Independent Commission for the Study of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church validated 512 testimonies, pointing, by extrapolation, to at least 4815 victims. Twenty-five cases were sent to the Public Ministry, which opened 15 investigations, of which nine were closed.

The testimonies refer to cases that occurred between 1950 and 2022, the time span covered by the commission’s work.

The commission provided diocesan bishops with lists of alleged abusers, some still active.

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