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Dutch cardinal: abuse arose as major issue in 1990s

January 25, 2011

A Dutch cardinal has admitted that the country’s hierarchy did not make sexual abuse a priority until the 1990s, when reports of clerical abuse began to emerge from the US.

Testifying in a case brought by a man who says he was molested by a priest, Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, the retired Archbishop of Utrecht, noted that the Dutch hierarchy set up an office to investigate abuse complaints in 1995. That office has now been superseded by an independent commission, headed by a former Dutch cabinet minister, to probe more than 2,000 accusations.


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