Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon admits that sexual abuse still happens in the church: “It seems so”
D. Américo Aguiar, auxiliary bishop of Lisbon, admits this Sunday to TVI that cases of sexual abuse still happen today in the Portuguese church.
Asked, in an interview on Jornal das 8, whether the reality of this crime is still present in the national ecclesiastical fabric, D. Américo Aguiar said: “It seems to me so “.
Because I say so, it happened in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. It happened, we regret it, we have to correct and accompany the victims, but it hurts me even more when it happens today“, field the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon.
The bishop further explains that he does not know if the dimension is explained. “What the Pope asked us is zero tolerance and that is what we are applying. We have learned that there are cases, we don’t know what the dimension is, but only one is serious”, he says.
In the last two years, D. Américo Aguiar says that “an effort has been made to monitor this reality across the board” and completes the pain of watching this in church, stressing that “there is nothing more serious than that”.
The declarations of the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon come after a Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP) to decide to create a national commission to study cases of abuse of minors within the Church and carry out a historical investigation of this reality.
In order for this commission to fulfill its objective, he emphasizes, “It’s I need to create an environment of trust so that a person can share the deep wound of the scourge of sexual abuse”.
We have been trying to create a framework of complete confidence.a, “says D. Américo Aguiar.
Asked if there is a time horizon for the victims to begin to assume what they have been through, the bishop reiterates that he does not and paraphrases D. José Ornelas Carvalho, president of the CEP. “If there is a person who is 90 years old and who reports an episode that takes place 80 years ago, we have to accommodate them in the same way.”
On the “justice” and “support” for victims, promised by this new national commission, Bishop Américo Aguiar borrows the words of Pope Francis. “When we are talking about an event like this, it is a deep wound that never heals.”
Everything we can do is very palliative of what can be the suffering of someone who, in a person of reference for themselves, of total trust, a churchman, took advantage of this context to do exactly that (sexual abuse)“, points out, noting that it will never be possible to settle accounts with” the walk of life “of the victims.
D. Américo Aguiar also defends that a church should have all experts, from the field of justice to psychology, to help as possible, “regardless of their position on the path of the church in this matter”.