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Rome Reports

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Spanish bishops present Pope Francis with strategy to counter abuse

Pope Francis has received the second group of Spanish bishops making their ad limina visit to Rome. 

-"Holy Father".
-"How are you doing?"
-"Very well. How are you?"
-"Always very sharp."
-"You know it. Maybe you even more so. Thank you. Thank you."
-"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for everything."

And they didn't come empty-handed. They gave Pope Francis several books, among them one on the theology of Ramón Llull. 

At a press conference, the bishops of Barcelona, Tarragona and Valencia shared what they talked about with the Pope, in particular on abuses in the church in Spain.

President, Spanish Bishops' Conference
"We feel great pain and our desire to be close to the victims, to gather the reports so we can walk with people who are hurt and prevent these things from happening again in the future. We must do everything we can."

They laid out the Spanish Bishops' Conference's strategy for fighting against abuse. It is based on creating commissions in each diocese in Spain to investigate claims in person.

President, Spanish Episcopal Conference
"We opened a way to be closer to victims, who can go to those offices in each diocese. The important thing is not in the past, but in looking towards the future, to see how we face this with dignity, according to the protocols, and always with respect for all the victims who have suffered."

They had a two and a half hour meeting with the Pope, in which they covered both social and political issues in Spain, such as their relationship with the current government and the Catalonia region's independence movement.

President, Spanish Episcopal Conference
"On issues of the common good, we agree with the current government on a lot, but not always on issues of morality. But with respect and firmness we must each put forth how to help and contribute to society."

They say their meeting with the Pope was very warm, and that they were surprised by the closeness and transparency demonstrated by the Bishop of Rome.