The Spanish Parliament voted on Thursday by an overwhelming majority in favor of a proposal create an independent commission to investigate the Catholic Church’s alleged sexual abuse of minors.
The Spanish mediator should chair the commission. The final vote count was 286 votes for, 51 votes against and 2 abstentions.
The Spanish Catholic Church has been under investigation on multiple fronts since a report by El País The newspaper revealed 1,237 cases of sexual abuse within the church. Since then, the Catholic Church has opened an investigation, lawmakers have opened an investigation, and the attorney general has launched an investigation. The latest development follows a proposal made in early February by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to Spanish mediator Ángel Gabilondo to conduct the independent investigation.
According to approved version of the bill, Gabilondo will chair an independent commission made up of representatives of the government, the victims and the church. The commission will look into alleged cases of sexual abuse of minors within the church. The commission seeks to identify those who committed the abuses, as well as those who covered them up or shielded the abusers. In addition, the commission will analyze the weaknesses of the system and the best way to repair them to prevent such abuses from happening again.
The bill still requires formal government support, but the bill appears to be on track to receive it after Sanchez hailed the passage of the bill on Twitter.