|Belgian Report: 100s Come Forward on Church Abuse
September 10, 2010
BRUSSELS — A Belgian commission looking into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy says it has received testimony from hundreds of victims and that witnesses say widespread abuse over decades led to at least 13 suicides.
The report was incomplete because its files were seized in a June 24 judicial raid that forced it break-up. But, commission chairman Peter Adriaenssens said Friday that 488 witnesses came forward, most of them after the April resignation of a bishop for sexual abuse set off a deep crisis within the Belgian church.
The report lists in great detail how victims say they were abused by clergy, and lists one witness as saying it started as young as two.
The government says that an investigation into abuse can continue even though a June raid on the archdiocese has been ruled illegal.
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