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The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) called for a government investigative committee to be set up to look into alleged sexual abuses of minors within the Catholic Church.

DK deputy leader Ágnes Vadai told an online press conference that the committee should not limit its investigations to individual sexual abuse cases, but should also work to expose “systemic shortcomings”, insisting that the Catholic Church, which she said was “tied to the Orbán government”, had made no attempt to look into any of the allegations.

Vadai noted the policy of zero tolerance for sexual abuse within the Catholic Church announced by Pope Francis in 2013. She also noted the Vatican sexual abuse summit of 2019 which led to the Catholic Church calling on its bishops’ conferences to draft directives aimed at addressing sexual abuse.

Proposed Anti-Pedophilia Bill Supported in National Assembly
Proposed Anti-Pedophilia Bill Supported in National Assembly

The new ruling makes the crime of pedophilia much more severely punishable in Hungary, according to Fidesz's group leader.Continue reading

Vadai said the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (MKPK), however, had issued no more than a single statement apologizing to the victims of sexual abuse.

“This is an important first step, but the apology is only worth something if they also promise that these kinds of abuses will never happen to anyone again,” she said.

Vadai called for more open and honest communication and transparency in dealing with church sexual abuse cases. Having the abusers stand trial with the possibility of receiving prison sentences would greatly help increase victims’ trust in the system, she added.

Featured image via Tibor Illyés/MTI