Dutch bishops, religious approve sex abuse inquiry


UTRECHT, Netherlands -- The Dutch bishops' conference and the conference of Dutch religious have approved a "broad external and independent inquiry" into cases of clerical sexual abuse and how they were handled by the church.

The two conferences issued a joint press statement May 11 saying the number of abuse cases reported to a church-sponsored victims' assistance office since February "necessitates a thorough investigation."

The bishops and religious superiors "reaffirm that they strongly condemn any form of sexual abuse. Abuse is contrary to the Gospel and the dignity of the human person," the statement said.

"To those who were victims of abuse within the Catholic Church, the religious superiors and bishops reiterate their deepest sorrow and apologies," the statement said.

Since February, more than 1,500 people have contacted the victims' assistance hotline and more than 50 formal complaints have been filed; the bishops and religious urged "victims who have not yet reported" to contact the police and-or the hotline.

The Dutch church leaders asked the staff of the hotline to advise them on what the church can and should do immediately to improve assistance to victims, but they also said that a longer, more complex investigation is needed to determine the scale of abuse, potential causes of abuse and to examine the way accusations were handled.

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

The bishops' conference and the conference of religious pledged their full cooperation with the investigation, which they said must be transparent, independent and scientific.

"Independence and transparency are exactly what the victims have a right to expect and are indispensable in the church's effort to help victims and prevent future abuse effectively," the statement said.

The statement did not give a timeline for the investigation.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017