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Historic Portugal church sex abuse ‘truly endemic’ at times


Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The head of a lay committee looking into historic child sex abuse in the Portuguese Catholic Church says the problem in the past had been “widespread” and on some occasions reached “truly endemic” proportions. Pedro Strecht, a psychiatrist who heads Portugal’s Independent Committee for the Study of Child Abuse in the Catholic Church, said his panel has compiled a list of 424 alleged victims and hundreds of abusers. Before the committee started its work in January, senior church officials had claimed only a handful of cases had occurred. Strecht says “the problem not only existed, it also became widespread.” The statute of limitations has expired on most of the allegations but 17 complaints have been forwarded to the Portuguese attorney general’s office.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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