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Aid to the Church in Need reveals charges against founder

February 11, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a prominent Catholic international charity, has disclosed that its founder, the late Father Werenfried van Straaten, was credibly accused of sexual assault. ACN revealed that a Vatican investigation, undertaken in 2009 at the request of the charitable group, also accused Father van Straaten of “excesses in lifestyle, considerable deficits in personnel management, and susceptibility to fascist ideas.” The reported sexual assault of an ACN staff member occurred in 1973; Father van Straaten died in 2003.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 11, 2021 7:17 PM ET USA

    As a 20+ year supporter of Fr. van Straaten, I am a bit curious about the circumstances of an "attempted" rape that the adult victim chose not to report for nearly 4 decades. Did Fr. van Straaten confess his sin? Did he make reparation and do penance? Did he amend his life for the next 30 years? If he did all of this, is it not customary for God, the Church, and the victim to forgive? No evidence of a previous or repeat offense was found. ACN denied the susceptibility to fascist ideas allegation