THE POSSIBILITY of changing the law to allow prosecutions against Catholic clergy believed to have been involved in child abuse is being examined by the Dutch cabinet. This is despite the fact that the statute of limitations on their alleged crimes has run out, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said last night.
The 1,100-page report of the Deetman Commission revealed last Friday that more than 800 Catholic priests and monks – 105 of whom are still alive – had systematically abused as many as 20,000 children, many of them sexually, in church-run institutions, between 1945 and 1985.
Mr Rutte was commenting after it emerged that a formal complaint had already been lodged with the public prosecutor’s office against the Catholic diocese of Rotterdam and its former bishop, Philippe Bär, claiming they had provided “a platform for criminals involved in the abuse of minors”.
The Deetman Commission – chaired by former education minister Wim Deetman – focused in detail on Rotterdam diocese, collating evidence of a substantial number of sexual abuse cases there during the 1980s. ......
|20 000 children suffered under catholic education|