Spanish ombudsman set to probe church sex abuse

The proposal of ombudsman Angel Gabilondo to head the investigation comes days after Spanish lawmakers took the first step toward opening a parliamentary inquiry on the issue of sexual abuse in the Church.
Spanish ombudsman Angel Gabilondo
Spanish ombudsman Angel Gabilondo
Spain's prime minister wants to task the nation's ombudsman with the country's first official investigation into the depth of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic clergy.
The decision by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, head of Spain's Socialist Party, was reported on Sunday by Spanish newspaper El Pais and confirmed by the government to the Associated Press.
The proposal of ombudsman Angel Gabilondo to head the investigation comes days after Spanish lawmakers took the first step toward opening a parliamentary inquiry on the issue of sexual abuse in the Church.
The body representing Spain's bishops has rejected opening up a comprehensive investigation. Instead, it encourages victims to report their allegations to offices that it has set up in each of the country's dioceses. Critics say that is not enough to give a full accounting of the abuse.
The final go-ahead for a parliamentary committee depends on a vote planned for later this month.
If the plan wins parliamentary backing, Gabilondo would be charged with compiling a report based on the findings of an independent investigative committee, according to El Pais.
Gabilondo, 72, was named ombudsman in November. A professor of philosophy, he was education minister from 2009-11 for a Socialist-led government. Despite his political career, he is widely respected even among most of his right-wing rivals and considered a consensus figure.

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