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Vatican to probe 251 paedophilia cases in Spanish church: report

A Spanish newspaper investigation that found 251 alleged paedophiles inside the country's Catholic church has been sent to the Vatican which has opened an internal inquiry, media reported Sunday.

priest repents
Since 2001, the Vatican has already received 220 sexual assault complaints. Photo: Valentine Chapuis/AFP

“The church has opened a major investigation, unprecedented in Spain, into 251 members of the clergy and a number of lay organisations accused of sexually assaulting minors which this newspaper has been investigating for three years,” El Pais wrote.

The accusations and witness testimonies stretching from 1943 to 2018 were detailed in a report handed to the pope on December 2, said the daily, which has begun to publish the first anonymised accounts on its website.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which is responsible for investigating such allegations, was unable to confirm the opening of investigations to AFP Sunday.

The Spanish Episcopal Conference “reiterates its commitment and willingness to undertake an investigation into all cases of abuse” and “encourages all victims to submit their complaints”, the organisation said in a statement Sunday.

Since 2001, the Vatican has already received 220 sexual assault complaints, a spokesperson for the Spanish Episcopal Conference told AFP.

READ ALSO: ‘No desire for truth’ in Spain’s Catholic church over child sex abuse

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CRIME

Six arrested in connection with burglary at Ronaldo’s Ibiza house

Six people have been arrested in connection with the €3-million burglary at the house belonging to former Brazil forward Ronaldo, AFP learned on Thursday from sources close to the investigation.

Six arrested in connection with burglary at Ronaldo's Ibiza house

Paris Saint-Germain player Marco Verratti was staying at Ronaldo’s house in Ibiza but was not home when the burglars struck on Monday, making off with jewellery and money.

Two people were arrested in the port of Denia in eastern Spain and four others were held in the southern city of Malaga, these sources told AFP without further details.

According to the Spanish press, four of the six arrested are Albanian, the other two being a Spaniard and a Romanian, making up an organised gang specialising in burglary.

Press reports also claim that the Spanish police recovered a large part of the loot, estimated at around €3 million.

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