Aid to the Church in Need Says Late Founder May Have Sexually Assaulted Woman in 1973
By Michael Gryboski
February 16, 2021
The Catholic human rights group Aid to the Church in Need recently confirmed an earlier report that the organization’s deceased founder may have sexually assaulted a woman who worked for the charity in 1973.
Born in the Netherlands in 1913, Father Werenfried van Straaten founded Aid to the Church in Need in 1947 and led the group until his passing in 2003.
ACN’s International Executive President Thomas Heine-Geldern released a statement last week in response to a report by “Christ & Welt,” a supplement of the German newspaper Die Zeit.
The supplement had published a 2010 letter by a woman claiming that she had been sexually assaulted in 1973 by van Straaten when she was 23 years old.