Rute Agulhas, right, coordinator of Grupo Vita, will be presenting the manual of prevention against sexual violence this afternoon. Here she is photographed with some of the bishops of the episcopal conference who have insisted on 'proof' of historic sexual abuse before any kind of condemnation. Image: Filipe Amorim/ Lusa
Rute Agulhas, right, coordinator of Grupo Vita, will be presenting the manual of prevention against sexual violence this afternoon. Here she is photographed with some of the bishops of the episcopal conference who have insisted on 'proof' of historic sexual abuse before any kind of condemnation. Image: Filipe Amorim/ Lusa

Church ‘studies’ compensation claims by victims of historic sexual abuse

Claims for compensation “likely to increase in number”

Portugal’s Catholic Church is said to be “studying the criteria for paying compensation to victims of historic sexual abuse.

Up till now, reports SIC Notícias, four victims have been identified by Grupo Vita, which is carrying on the work of the independent commission that reported earlier this year on a scourge that has been going on, in plain sight, for decades.

More victims are expected to request compensation, says the station, while elsewhere this week it has been reported that half of the 17 priests suspended earlier this year, following claims of historic sexual abuse, have returned to active functions within the Church – because bishops felt there was no compelling evidence of their crimes.

The situation has seen victims ‘lament’ that the Church is not really facing up to this scandal, in spite of all the groundwork laid by Pope Francis.

Another less than edifying story last month claimed that the priest who ‘blew the whistle’ on 12 colleagues he suspected of abusing children has actually been punished by Church elders, again because they concluded that “he could not prove the accusations”.

Meantime, Grupo Vita is today presenting a Manual of Prevention of Sexual Abuse – a kind of 10 commandments, says SIC – the full title of which is “Manual de Prevenção de Violência Sexual Contra Crianças e Adultos vulneráveis no Contexto da Igreja Católica em Portugal” (Manual of Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Children and Vulnerable Adults in the Context of the Catholic Church in Portugal).

The manual is being presented this afternoon, and will thereafter be available online. Once a link is published, it will appear at the end of this text.

UPDATE: The manual can be downloaded by accessing this link and then going to the respective ‘descarregue aqui‘ button.

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