Thursday, August 4, 2011

Clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands

So first there was this Nov. 2010 story from the BBC about sexual abuse charges in the Netherlands involving Salesians, including a former bishop. The head of the Salesians in the Netherlands, Fr. Herman Spronck declined to comment...........

A Dutch Roman Catholic bishop who died in 2003 abused a boy while serving as a priest at a monastery after the war, Dutch media report.
Jan ter Schure, who served as bishop of Den Bosch until 1998, is said to have been one of seven priests involved in abusing the boarding school pupil.
Church documents show the victim was paid compensation for "emotional damages" after ter Schure's death.
The religious order involved paid him 16,000 euros (£13,500, $21,000).
The abuse occurred at the Don Rua monastery in Ugchelen between 1948 and 1953. The monastery later relocated to the town of 's-Heerenberg.
Revelations this year of widespread sexual abuse at Don Rua prompted a wave of publicity about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands, Radio Netherlands reports.
The Church complaints body, Hulp en Recht (Help and Justice), has received more than 1,100 claims of abuse.
Victim 'ignored'

The unnamed victim asked the Bishop of Rotterdam, Adrianus Van Luyn, to publicly denounce abuses by the Salesian order two years ago, according to documents seen by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Rotterdam newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
Herman Spronck, Father Superior of the Salesians in the Netherlands, declined to comment, Radio Netherlands adds.

Then a later story in May 2011 says Fr. Spronck has been removed because he told an interviewer that sex between adults and children is not necessarily a bad thing and that he knew that one of the priests working for me was an officer in a pedophile organization.

The head of the Dutch Salesian order, Father Herman Spronck, has been placed on “administrative leave” for his part in a Dutch Catholic pedophile scandal.
Over the weekend, Spronck, known as the Delegate, said that sexual relationships between children and adults were not always damaging.

“Formally I always say that everyone must obey the law. But these relationships do not necessarily have to be damaging.” Nieuws quoted Spronck as saying.
Spronck was commenting on another Salesian priest’s committee membership in “Martijn”, a Dutch pro-pedophilia group.
RTL quoted Spronck, Fr Van B.’s superior — as saying he was aware of repeated transgressions in Van B.’s past. However he didn’t try to stop him from moving through three dioceses and six parishes in the Netherlands, often leaving under a cloud of suspicion, because he believed in the priest’s promises to reform.
“Herman Spronck is no longer the delegate from the Salesian delegation in the Netherlands,” his superior Rev. Jos Claes, leader of the Salesians in Belgium and the Netherlands, told RTL. “We fully distance ourselves from the words we find in your interview with Herman Spronck.”
Fr Van B “can longer perform any pastoral duties as of today,” he added.
The Salesian priest, simply known as Fr Van B, was a committee member of the “Martijn” association and also has two convictions for exposing himself to children. Although suspended from ministry, he worked as a “volunteer” helping prepare children for the first Holy Communion.

An independent commission investigating abuse cases dating back to 1945 has found that the Netherlands ranks worst behind only Ireland in a scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in Europe and the United States.

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