THE Catholic Church of Portugal apologized today to the victims of sexual crimes in weight children committed by members of the clergy, following the release of an independent investigation demonstrating the extent of the phenomenon.

It is with pain that we once again apologize to all victims of sexual assault“, she said Synod of Bishops of Portugal (CEP) in a statement issued after meeting on this issue in Fatima. In this city, a public event will be organized in April during which the Church will express its apology, while in August, in Lisbon, a monument will be erected on the occasion of World Youth Day.

The bishops pledged to take “concrete measures” after being informed of the conclusions of the independent commission, which they themselves set up at the end of 2021 to shed light on this phenomenon. After collecting more than 500 testimonials within a year, independent experts concluded that at least 4,815 minors they fell victims of sexual violence by members of the clergy from 1950 onwards.

The hierarchy of the Church made sure to “systematically” cover up these crimes, they add in their report.