Thousands sign petition against naming bridge after cardinal suspected of covering up child sexual abuse

Written By Manuel Poças

Over 17,000 Portuguese citizens are against the decision of naming a public bridge after Cardinal Dom Manuel Clemente. The public petition will be discussed at the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic.

The petition argues that Portugal is a secular state and that naming the bridge after the cardinal is offensive to the 4800 victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic church.

Cardinal Dom Manuel Clemente is suspected of covering up at least one crime of sexual abuse to a minor by a member of the church. For this reason, the author of the petition states that Portuguese taxpayers should think about the fact that their money is intended to be used to build something in order to honor someone who condoned such a hideous crime.

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The document, which is name “Petição para alteração do nome previsto para a ponte Lisboa/Loures no Parque Tejo” – Petition to alter the name intended for the Lisbon/Loures bridge in Parque Tejo, had almost 11,400 signatures in less than three days.

According to Portuguese law, the right to petition is universal and free. Moreover, if a public petition that follows all the rules in place gets more than 7,500 signatures, it will be discussed in the Assembly of the Republic.

This petition, which will be delivered to the Mayor of Lisbon, is already well above that number. For this reason, it will go straight to the Assembly, considering the appropriate time frame, and maybe it will be able to produce the desired effect.

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