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Friday 22 August  

Dutch bishops destroy child sex evidence

Published on 17 December 2010 - 11:47pm
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Nine Dutch bishops caught up in sex abuse scandals

Ad Simonis (1931-)
Cardinal, former archbishop of Utrecht
- In 1983, he allowed a paedophile to stay on as parish priest and kept the case quiet.
- In 2007, he installed a brother as acolyte who had been dismissed for abuse.
- Gave evidence in January 2011 in the case of the transfer of a paedophile priest.

Bernardus Alfrink (1900-1987)
Cardinal, former archbishop of Utrecht
- In 1973, he moved a paedophile priest to a different parish.

Ad van Luyn (1935-)
Bishop of Rotterdam, chair of the Bishops’ Conference
- In 2008, he ignored repeated requests from a victim to make public sex abuse by members of the Salesian teaching order.

Philippe Bär (1928-)
Former bishop of Rotterdam
- Reportedly had sexual relations with his students at a seminary. Resigned in 1993.

Frans Wiertz (1942-)
Bishop of Roermond
- In 1998, he appointed a convicted abuser as parish priest in a different area.
- In the 1990s, he appointed someone who had been accused of abuse as parish priest and then transferred him a further two times following continuing incidents.

Jo Gijsen (1932-)
Former bishop of Roermond
- In 1991, he appointed a convicted paedophile as a parish priest.
- In 1987, he moved a priest who had been accused of abuse to another parish.
- He is the subject of a complaint concerning alleged abuse of trainee priests made to the Catholic Church’s own sex abuse support organisation (Hulp en Recht).

Huub Ernst (1917-)
Former bishop of Breda
- In 1984, he appointed a paedophile as parish priest after which the man abused again. He will have to give evidence in this case in January.

Antoon Hurkmans (1944-)
Bishop of Den Bosch
- In 2004, he appointed as parish priest the director of a seminary who had been accused of abuse.

Jan ter Schure (1922-2003)
Former bishop of Den Bosch
- As a young priest, he abused a student at a boarding school in Ugchelen between 1948 and 1953.
 

Dutch bishops destroyed incriminating evidence of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Secret archives of the diocese of Den Bosch, which showed that priests had committed abuse, were shredded.

A statement by a Dutch historian says that a 1990s investigation of the diocese's archives revealed that documents pertaining to sexual abuse were missing. Copies of the statement are in the possession of Radio Netherlands Worldwide and daily NRC Handelsblad.

Historian Eric Theloosen reported his findings to the Deetman Commission in September. The commission, which is investigating child sex abuse in the church, never sent a reaction to the historian.

Roman Catholic spokespersons deny that the removal of the documents was a cover-up.

 

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