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Commission finds that 800 Dutch priests, religious committed abuse

Catholic World News - December 16, 2011

A Dutch government commission has found that at least 800 priests and religious--105 of whom are still alive--abused children in Catholic institutions between 1945 and 1985.

“To prevent scandals, nothing was done: [the abuse was] not acknowledged, there was no help, compensation, or after-care for the victims,” the 1,100-page report concluded.

While highly critical of Church officials, the report found that sexual abuse of minors has been a major problem throughout Dutch society, and the rate of abuse in Catholic institutions was not significantly different from the rate in other Dutch institutions. The report also dismissed the argument that sexual abuse was linked to clerical celibacy.

The Dutch Catholic hierarchy responded to the report with a statement that bishops in the past "did not give priority to the interests of and care for these victims." The bishops said: "Given the responsibility that we have assumed from our predecessors, we empathize with the victims and offer them our heartfelt apology."

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  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Dec. 17, 2011 2:28 PM ET USA

    This article makes plain that most abuse cited extended occurred for about 40 years..and ENDED some 27 years ago! Oh, yes, we might mention that the society in which this occurred..suffered rampant abuse outside the Church as well. Even institutionally. Sex abuse will most likely keep occurring until society bothers to treat sexually seriously. Right now we're determined to make it a play-thing. I guess this witch hunt will go on for some time....

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