The Independent Commission for the Study of Sexual Abuse of Children in the Catholic Church sent 25 cases from among the 512 victim testimonies received throughout the year to the Public prosecutors' office, coordinator Pedro Strecht announced today.

The commission, which began collecting testimonies on January 11, 2022, revealed today that it had received 564 testimonies, of which 512 were validated, which relate to at least 4,815 victims.

The cases of sexual abuse revealed throughout 2022 shook the Church and Portuguese society, similar to what had happened with similar investigations in other countries, with alleged cases of a cover-up by the religious hierarchy prompting apologies, in a year in which the Church is now also involved in controversy, with the organisation of the World Youth Day, in Lisbon.

Today, the first reaction of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP), chaired by the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, José Ornelas, will be heard, and an extraordinary plenary meeting of the CEP has already been convened for March 3 to analyse the report.