The Spanish Congress voted against expanding the scope of a proposed commission to investigate the abuse of minors in the country. The commission is to be limited to investigating such cases within the Catholic Church. The center-right Partido Popular (PP) proposed that it also be charged with investigating abuse at reception centers for minors and in other contexts.
This proposal, however, was struck down by members of congress from the socialist party (PSOE) and Podemos.
It can be argued that cases involving the Church are subject to more secrecy and thereby require special investigation, resources for which should not be diverted. However, the PP and Ciudadanos had previously proposed creating a special commission to investigate reception centers for minors in the Balearic Islands and Valencia, where there is evidence of abuse. These investigation queries were denied by the socialist-led coalition, on the basis that they exceeded the national government’s purview, and needed the attention of regional administrations. The PP, in turn, argued that the national government, as well as the regional ones, were culpable in such cases, if only through a failure to act. Consequently, in what seems like an overcorrection, the PP and VOX have voted against the formation of this commission. They expressed the view that investigating the Church was outside the government’s remit, and should be done through the courts.
Remarkably, the commission’s potential creation has, as of February 1st, passed the first hurdle, and will now await scheduling for a plenary session debate.
Lack of unity on this issue, and a lack of willingness to make investigations as comprehensive and thorough as possible, bespeaks a profound moral crisis.