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Dutch cardinal denies knowledge of extent of abuse

Catholic World News - March 24, 2010

“Extremely shocked” and “ashamed” by recent widespread allegations of clerical abuse in the Netherlands, Cardinal Adrianus Simonis-- the retired Archbishop of Utrecht-- said that he had been aware of no more than ten cases of abuse in his nearly four decades as a bishop.

“If a priest was involved, I was responsible,” he said. “If it was a member of a religious order, it was up to the order itself.”

On March 15, Radio Netherlands reported that 137 priests and religious had recently been accused off abuse by some 200 former seminarians and boarding school students. An online Dutch news site has since reported that 600 allegations have been made in the past month.

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