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Friday 18 April  
Dormitory of Don Rua school, 's-Heerenberg
Robert Chesal's picture
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Soest, Netherlands
Soest, Netherlands

Salesians admit sex abuse

Published on : 31 January 2011 - 2:58pm | By Robert Chesal (St. Agatha)
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For the first time, a Dutch religious order has admitted its guilt in the Catholic sex abuse scandal. In a letter to the victims, which has been seen by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and NRC Handelsblad, the Salesians of Don Bosco express their “deep regret”. They also say they are working on a “generous” compensation package.

“In any case it is clear that Salesians are also guilty of committing sexual and emotional abuse and we condemn this unequivocally,” the letter says. The Dutch branch of the order also acknowledges its failure to prevent or respond to abuse. The trust of the children and their parents has been seriously harmed, say the Salesians.

Silence broken
“As an order we have not always handled reports properly and this has further damaged the trust placed in us.” The letter acknowledges that at various boarding schools and other institutions there was insufficient oversight. Intervention was inadequate and came too late.

It is now nearly a year since the Catholic abuse scandal in the Netherland first came to light, with the exposure of years of sexual abuse at the Don Rua boarding school in the eastern town of 's-Heerenberg. Forty-three victims came forward with allegations against the Salesians to Radio Netherlands Worldwide and NRC Handelsblad alone. The order’s first shocked reactions were followed by a lengthy silence, which has now finally been broken.

Threats
The letter describes practices that appeared to be aimed at stifling reports of abuse. “In a number of cases, parents and children were played off against each other, giving the children the feeling they had been abandoned. This is deeply regrettable.” Children who attempted to resist the abuse also faced threats.

The Salesians say the extent and seriousness of the abuse took them unawares. Where it was known about, action against the perpetrator was “not always fitting and adequate”. The order admits that appropriate measures could have prevented abuse from recurring.

Compensation
The order says it is willing to confront its members who have been named by victims. But it will impose no further sanctions pending any legal action. “The Brothers who are suspected also have the right to a fair and thorough trial, and to defend themselves.”

The Salesians say they are now working on a compensation deal. “A collective settlement is in preparation,” the letter says.

(mb/imm)

Discussion

Anonymous 3 July 2013 - 5:17am

"Is this a compassionate way in which Jesus would want children treated."...Jeannie Guzman, according to the scriptures, Yeshua stated go and sin no more. No, He would not and still does not want children or any human treated in such a manner by priests are by anyone. There is no hope from the world court. If it was that simple, there would be no wars, starvation, and crimes against humanity. The world court should not get involved in the crimes. Those priests who committed the crimes and those who covered-up the crimes, need to be held accountable in the nations where they committed their crimes.

Anonymous 27 March 2013 - 9:43pm

This is a product of the society in which they live, in the decade of the 60 `s, abortion, adultery and pornography was legalized, so with the passing of time, there is great sexual debauchery, priests are product of their society, and have a very liberal way of thinking, so the sins of the whole country, are reflected in the spiritual impoverishment of its priests. Think about it

Keith Richard Radford Jr 15 March 2011 - 11:36pm / us

Let me tell you about my families setting me up for an exorcism and
her need for money through political, and religious pandering
concerning sex.

I remember living behind a church were Brian Lamb, and a bunch of
these Cspan guys used too have a wood shop. At that place of residence
my mom thought I needed an exorcist, after playing in the mud the way
very young children will sometimes with my uncle who mixed a glass of
this red clay in water and told me it was chocolate milk.

After drinking it as he would force me to do thing all the time like
the time he made me cut off the limb I was sitting on and the device
came out of my shoulder being more powerful and in control I broke out
with ring worm all over my body and my mom told me it was writing that
could not be understood so she had priests come in from the church.

I guess my Dad did not know that one of the people at the church was
in line for being my new dad but that was not in the cards because I
guess he felt I was in need of discipline after an accident in the
wood shop. I had been check out on the band saw by my grandfather who
was a millwright in Arkansas and to do some jobs the blade shield had
to be removed. Some kids came in and wanted to use the saw, then got
mad that I wanted to warn them to put the guard on and they told me
they owned it all and I was not to tell them anything, and after this
head strong kid cut his thumb off the other kids said they would tell
their fathers it was all my fault, but it was not.

I had a fever of well over a hundred and I was a bloody mess with the
infection. The priests came in with outer guys and one had a camera.
The priests would throw me across the room well the other snapped a
picture. I would fall on furniture and the floor and they would tell
me get on the bed, don't get off the bed very loud and when I would
crawl back on the bed they would pick me up and throw me over and over
again well the other priest would snap another picture and this went
on till one guy said we have enough picture and they left me in the
blood, mud, and bedding, then my aunt came in with some save that was
for ring worm.

She spread the save and kidded me about dying when the rings got to my
heart. After getting well I went back to the wood shop and the guys
had made me a special shield and gave me my sword which were both made
of wood and I had to fight one of the guys in my shorts because I did
not want to remove them and the other guy was naked (he know who he
is). I was still not up too speed and lost the battle. They then
called me the bad guy and this group was supposed to be my gate keeper
or something like that appointed by the priests. My Dad did not like
them much also but that did not matter much because someone at the
church was going to be my new dad till he said no, my mom cried allot,
my dad was gone, I healed up, but I still have a case.

Please know that there is nothing any of you can do to make what you
and the rest of the ones involved can do to make this my fault. See at
the time I was about seven years old. Since then the church has made
an effort to kill me, to the extent of trying to pass laws to kill sex
offenders.

Come on, keep it up, keep pushing laws that you as a group of very
said individuals know have no value. Take me too court so I can own a
network. I have met with your staff members in private since along
with military personal and others.

Now lets note when this happened I was only a small child being thrown
around a room like a rag doll by people that started all this clear
back in the late fifty's and the steering by very bad people that
think abusing kids to make laws to stop abuse, Ha! these laws are
bogus and the fact that they can not kill gays anymore does not
justify the use of laws too kill someone set up by them to create some
worthless set of laws by a fusion of church and state is wrong and
realty designed by them to harm us all.

My case was pragmatic but more than that I know what was done and who
was involved making vendetta laws that really have no bases in truth,
and are based in lies.

Keith Richard Radford Jr

http://www.longislandpress.com/2009/11/19/the-sex-offender-next-door/ the gig is up, please note comments & end sex laws now.

Please know that this whole thing was setup and its time too call you all out.

Anonymous 5 February 2011 - 12:17am / Lalaland

Give me chastity and continence- but not yet.

Dominic Tomasso 1 February 2011 - 5:14pm / USA

Jeannie Guzman is absolutely correct. It's time for the World Court to get involved. We know that the pope has not removed anyone for the crimes they have committed. No anyone, anywhere at any time, so what more reason is there for the World Court to step in. What are they waiting for?

Dominic Tomasso
Advocate For Bishops Accountability.

bokir 1 February 2011 - 12:04am

It is the time to destroy all organization that represent God like this

Anonymous 14 June 2011 - 1:03am / USA

...they don't represent God. God is not in this.

Hiram1 31 January 2011 - 8:03pm

"Is this a compassionate way in which Jesus would want children treated."...Jeannie Guzman, according to the scriptures, Yeshua stated go and sin no more. No, He would not and still does not want children or any human treated in such a manner by priests are by anyone. There is no hope from the world court. If it was that simple, there would be no wars, starvation, and crimes against humanity. The world court should not get involved in the crimes. Those priests who committed the crimes and those who covered-up the crimes, need to be held accountable in the nations where they committed their crimes.

Jeannie Guzman 31 January 2011 - 6:50pm / USA

The story is the same, worldwide! Unimaginable stories of abuse, molestation, excessive physical discipline and rape were rampant in Catholic Schools and Orphanages all over the world. The superiors of these Pedo-priests, nuns and monks were aware of the abuse in an overwhelming amount of cases, and yet they were too stifled by a heavy-handed Rome and a sense of embarrassment to clean house and turn the Pedophiles over to the legal authorities. Today, in third world countries, where the Roman Catholic Church still plays a big part in education and orphanages, one can bet that the same levels of past abuse are still going on and defenseless children are again, unprotected. Is this a compassionate way in which Jesus would want children treated . . . Maybe for the purpose of really getting the Vatican and the Pope's attention, it's time for World Court to get involved! It can't happen too soon.

Gale 6 October 2012 - 1:38am / WkhFjqNZOJbLUqEXbS

just a heads up= just checked the ciaemnn site here in switzerland and it is opening here on the french speaking cantons also on may 23rd .i feel a trip to geneva coming on!!

janv 2 February 2011 - 2:57am / canada

"Is this a compassionate way in which Jesus would want children treated...Like he was even a person! He is up there with Odin, Zeus and Osiris as fantasy land beings.

But, yes the World Court should hang these pedofile monsters, as well as Bush, Blair, Howard and Harper.

Anonymous 14 June 2011 - 1:00am / USA

...and you.

Hiram1 2 February 2011 - 5:42am

"Is this a compassionate way in which Jesus would want children treated...Like he was even a person!"...Janv, He was "the" spirit of love in a human body. Those priests who committed those sexual crimes mentioned in the article and those who have not be caught, are not Christians. They should be arrested and put in prison for their crimes and they should be punished in the countries they committed the crimes.

Anonymous 14 June 2011 - 1:02am / USA

...right on Hiram1

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