Cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns and members of religious orders in the 20th and 21st centuries has been widespread and led to many allegations and investigations; as well as revelations about decades of attempts by the Church to cover up reported incidents. The abused include boys and girls, some as young as three years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14.
For instance, in France, a priest has been charged with sexually abusing four siblings, now aged 13 to 17, his lawyer said. The family brought the complaint against the 64-year-old priest, whose parish is in the central Cantal region. All four siblings were said to be in the church choir. They are the latest in a slew of assault allegations against the Catholic Church spanning several continents.
Sex abuse claims now rock the Catholic Church in Netherlands. Between 1945 and 2010, twenty of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims,” the Netherlands daily evening newspaper (NRC) reported. They either abused children themselves or covered up the crime over the course of decades.
Most of the numbers come from the Church itself based on an investigation conducted by the Deetman Commission in 2010-2011. Deetman headed a commission of inquiry into the sexual abuse of minors in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands. Also, NRC Handelsblad did its own research...
“Four abused children and 16 others allowed the transfer of paedophile priests who could have caused new victims in other parishes,” the Dutch newspaper added.
Church spokeswoman Daphne van Roosendaal said the church could “confirm a part” of the report.
Other elements were based on anonymous information provided by a victims’ assistance unit set up by the church.
“The names of several bishops correspond to those named in a report commissioned by the church in 2010,” van Roosendaal said.
“Most of the accused clerics have since died, and the statute of limitations has expired in all cases,” she added. Those still alive declined to comment, the Dutch newspaper reported.
The Catholic hierarchy has been criticized for not acting more quickly and decisively to remove, laicize and report priests accused of sexual misconduct. The abuse is still happening in churches all over the world and it seems that the Catholic Church still didn’t find solution for that problem.
“It is easy to think that when we talk about the crisis of child rape and abuse that we are talking about the past – and the Catholic Church would have us believe that this most tragic era in church history is over. It is not. It lives on today. Pedophiles are still in the priesthood. Cover ups of their crimes are happening now, and bishops in many cases are continuing to refuse to turn information over to the criminal justice system. Cases are stalled and cannot go forward because the church has such power to stop them. Children are still being harmed and victims cannot heal,” abuse victim whose mission is to end priest abuse, Mary Dispenza, said.
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