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Dutch prelate suggests slain bishop could be patron saint of abuse victims

Catholic World News - January 07, 2014

A Dutch prelate has said that a missionary bishop slain in China in 1937 could be considered the patron saint of abuse victims, Agence France-Presse reported.

Upon closing the diocesan phase of the beatification of the Servant of God Franciscus Hubertus Schraven (1873-1937), Bishop Frans Wiertz of Roermond suggested that Schraven “be considered as the patron saint of victims of sexual abuse,” according to the diocesan website.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, 5,000 people, including 200 girls, took refuge at the residence of Bishop Schraven, who served as apostolic vicar of Chengting (Zhengding). When Japanese soldiers asked the bishop for the girls, he said, “You can kill me if you want, but you will never get what you ask for.”

The soldiers later returned, doused Bishop Schraven and eight priests with gasoline, and set them on fire.

“There have in recent years been many reports about abuse within the Church,” said Bishop Wiertz. “It’s shameful to see that even the faithful can be guilty of such things.”

“Fortunately there are people in the Church who chose the right side, who condemned abuse and who sacrificed their lives when it was necessary.”

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