Report finds 0.6 percent of Spain’s adult population said they were abused by members of clergy when they were children

ore than 200,000 minors are estimated to have been sexually abused in Spain by the Roman Catholic clergy since 1940, according to an independent commission.

The report did not give a specific figure but said a poll of more than 8,000 people found that 0.6 percent of Spain’s adult population of about 39 million people said they had suffered sexual abuse by members of the clergy when they were still children.

The revelations in Spain are the latest to rock the Roman Catholic Church after a series of sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.

The commission also interviewed 487 victims, who stressed “the emotional problems” the abuse has caused them, Gabilondo said.

“There are people who have [died by] suicide … people who have never put their lives back together,” the former Socialist education minister said.

Teresa Conde, a philosophy teacher who was abused for years by a friar starting at the age of 14 when she attended a religious school in the northwestern city of Salamanca in the early 1980s, said she is “never going to be a normal person”.

“I’m never going to stop doing therapy or taking medicine,” the 57-year-old told the AFP news agency.

The percentage rose to 1.13 percent – or more than 400,000 people – when abuse by lay members was included, Spain’s national ombudsman Angel Gabilondo told a news conference called on Friday to present the findings of the report which has more than 700 pages.

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