One of the cases was archived, at the request of the Holy See, and the other, in addition to not having “any reference” in the archives, does not concern a priest in the region. This is the reaction of the Diocese of the Algarve to the list of two priests, alleged abusers, delivered last Friday, March 3, to Bishop D. Manuel Neto Quintas by CIndependent omission for the Study of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. The prelate has already convened a general assembly of priests to study measures to prevent the possibility of abuse occurring in the future.
In a statement released this Thursday, the 9th, the Diocese speaks openly about the two cases identified by the Independent Commission for the Study of Sexual Abuse in the Church in Portugal.
One of the names concerns the case of a priest, who would have exercised in Boliqueime, and whose Diocese became aware of it in October 2021.
The alleged abuses, at the Casa dos Rapazes (D. Francisco Gomes Institute), in Faro, were denounced on TVI's "Goucha" program.
The Diocese immediately launched a "prior investigation, with information to the Public Prosecutor's Office", clarifies the statement.
The result was “sent to the Holy See” which, after analysis, indicated that the process “should be archived”, adds the Diocese.
The other case, which appears in the report of the Independent Commission, led by Pedro Strecht, does not “correspond to any priest incardinated in the Diocese of the Algarve, nor is it found in the diocesan archives”.
Moreover, the Bishop "has already informed the Independent Commission (Historical Investigation Group) of this occurrence, awaiting further information on this matter".
The prelate summoned, this Thursday, March 9, all the clergy of the Diocese "to a general assembly aimed at studying measures to prevent the possibility of abuse in the future, whether involving minors or vulnerable adults, based on the legislation civil and canonical law in force".
The meeting is expected to take place this month.
The objective is also “to extend this formation action to all diocesan pastoral agents”.
In his Lenten message, the Bishop of the Algarve had already considered "the recent publication of the report for the Study of Sexual Abuse of Children in the Portuguese Catholic Church by the Independent Commission" as "a vehement appeal to conversion", an appeal that demands "courage and decision to know the truth”.
The Church is called to “assume the responsibility that this truth demands”, he also said.
In this sense, the Diocese of the Algarve and its Bishop affirm that they will do everything possible to ensure that priests and other pastoral agents receive information and training on this subject, with the aim of creating a "culture of care and transparency" in all diocesan institutions. .
Likewise, all communities must develop a «new sensitivity in order to prevent and denounce situations that may occur in the protection and defense of children, adolescents and vulnerable adults».
D. Manuel Quintas also appeals to everyone to “maintain hope” and “cultivate a Christian sense of total acceptance for victims, as well as charity and accompaniment towards abusers, called to assume the canonical and civil consequences of their acts”.