Just before Christmas, there came yet another condemnation of the actions of the Catholic Church in dealing with child abuse. This time, the condemnation came from an investigation into the sexual abuse of children in Dutch Catholic institutions.
And the breadth of the abuse, to put it bluntly, was staggering.
The Dutch commission, led by Wim Deetman, found that over 40 years, 800 Catholic clergy and church employees were involved in the abuse of tens of thousands of children: in all, children in institutional care had a one-in-five chance of being molested.
“The policy was no washing of dirty linen in public,” Deetman said in the report of the church’s response. “To prevent scandals, nothing was done, abuse not acknowledged, there was no help, compensation or support for the victims.”
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