“Asking forgiveness from the victims and from society”

Symbol image abuse in the church © Annnna_11 (shutterstock)

The Jesuit order in Spain has apologized for decades of sexual abuse by its own members. At least 81 minors have been affected since 1927, according to an investigation published on the order's website.

In addition, 37 adults had suffered assaults. According to the data, there are 96 defendants, 71 of whom have already died. Most cases occurred around schools, where many of the perpetrators worked as teachers.

"We want to ask for forgiveness from the victims and from all of society," said Antonio Espana, provincial of the Jesuits in Spain. "For the abuse, for the culture of silence – for not facing things directly and without excuses." He feels "shame and pain" in light of the acts committed by Spanish Jesuits, Espana said. He said efforts will be made to prevent abuse in the future and alleviate the suffering of those affected. To this end, he said, numerous measures have already been taken.

Provincial, meanwhile, believes it is right not to publish names of offenders. It's about striking the right balance between a "witch hunt" and an honest effort to educate and be transparent, the religious said.

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Christina Cherry
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