Thursday, August 30, 2012

Catholic church abuse: victims make formal complaints about three monks

A foundation representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic church officials has made a police complaint against three monks who worked in the former Bleijerheide residential school in Kerkrade.

A spokesman for the Mea Culpa foundation told the Telegraaf the three men 'deliberately and knowingly' kept secret about crucial information about the abuse of their pupils.

'All three monks should be questioned by the police as quickly as possible,' Bert Smeets said.

Youth worker

One of the three is Maastricht minister Jan S who is already the subject of an investigation into sexual abuse. He has been suspended by the bishop of Roermond.

The two others live in Kerkrade and Heerlen and one of them still works as a youth worker in Belgium, the Telegraaf said.

Mea Culpa has also made a formal complaint against the Franciscan community in the Netherlands.

Archives

'We want to know where all the archives are,' Smeets said. 'Specifically, we want the publication of the CVs of 13 monks from Bleijerheide. Complaints have been made about nine of them.' 

A church commission looking into abuse at Catholic boarding schools reported in December it had identified some 800 priests and monks who abused children in their care between 1945 and 1985.

In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were aware of what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the report said.

The commission was set up by the Catholic church in March 2010 after the sexual abuse scandal broke in the Netherlands and hundreds of victims came forward. 

Over 2,000 people have now registered their abuse with the authorities and a number of cases will be taken to court.

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