Friday, September 10, 2010

Belgium church abuse detailed by Adriaenssens report

Harrowing details of some 300 cases of alleged sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Belgium have been released by a Church investigator.

Peter Adriaenssens said cases of abuse, mostly involving minors, had been found in nearly every diocese, and 13 alleged victims had committed suicide.

Two-thirds of victims were boys but 100 girls also suffered, he said.

Belgian media have accused the Church of seeking to hide abuse despite prosecutions of abusers.

While the commission he headed had found no indication that the Church had systematically sought to cover up cases, Mr Adriaenssens said its findings were a "body blow" to the Church in Belgium.

The child psychiatrist, who has worked with trauma victims for 23 years, said nothing had prepared him for the stories of abuse, which multiplied as former abusers gave testimony.

"We saw how priests, called up by the commission and asked to help seek the truth, were willing to set up the list of 10, 15, 20 victims they abused during boarding school while the commission knew only of one," he said. READ MORE

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