Archbishop Announces Plan to Pay Sexual Abuse Victims

October 20, 2010

Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard plans to support the costs of treatment for some victims of sexual abuse, confirmed his spokesperson after one of the victims proposed compensation of 120 euros per month for life, reported De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad.

"We are prepared to support the costs of therapy for certain victims," said Jurgen Mettepenningen, spokesman for Archbishop Leonard. The decision was taken at the last Conference of Bishops last week. "We came to this conclusion: we must receive the victims, listen to them and compensate them when possible."

Payments will not be retroactive, meaning that only future costs will be taken into account. In addition, he said, not all victims should expect aid, because the Church wishes to examine the situations on a "case by case basis."

The Church has also promised to take the measures against abusers. "We must ensure that they will no longer be active in the pastoral life."

Jan Hertogen, a victim who managed to organize dozens of others, has meanwhile made an innovative proposal to the bishops of Tournai and Antwerp. "The Church must compensate all victims with 120 euros per month for life," he said.


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