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Dutch diocese says abuse charges against former bishop are valid

April 14, 2014

The Diocese of Roermond, in the Netherlands, has disclosed that complaints of sexual abuse by the late Bishop Johannes Gijsen were “well-founded.”

Bishop Frans Wiertz, the current leader of the Roermond diocese, issued an apology to victims of the reported abuse, saying that he had accepted the finding of an independent commission that the complaints were valid. The complaints, which the last bishop had denied, date back to incidents in 1958-1961, shortly after his ordination to the priesthood.

Bishop Gijsen resigned from his post at the Roermond diocese in 1993, after an abuse scandal at the diocesan seminary. In 1996, Pope John Paul II appointed him to a new position as Bishop of Reykjavik, Iceland. He served there until his retirement in 2007 at the age of 75. Bishop Gijsen died last June.


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