Spain’s Catholic Church wants to “eradicate” cases of sexual abuse of minors within the church and not cover them up, the president of the Spanish bishops’ conference said. As in other countries, Spain’s Catholic hierarchy is under pressure from local scandals and cases elsewhere that have seen critics accusing it of dragging its feet in delivering a response to abuse allegations.

As reported by, His Eminence Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, president of the Spanish bishops’ conference told a gathering of bishops in Madrid said, “The Church openly recognizes cases of abuse of different nature and has taken the firm decision to eradicate them. Abuse should not be covered up nor should it be met with the wrong answer.” In his address, the cardinal also cited the conclusions of a month-long meeting, or synod of Church leaders from around the world held last month in Rome saying: “Confronting the issue of abuse in all its aspects could be an opportunity for a historical reform.”

Spain’s Catholic Church last month set up a commission charged with creating new rules to prevent child sexual abuse. The commission will also prepare for an unprecedented meeting of the heads of the national Catholic bishops’ conferences from around which His Holiness Pope Francis has scheduled for February at the Vatican.