Catholic Church may pay collective sex abuse compensation
The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands is considering paying collective compensation to Dutch victims of sexual abuse, documents obtained by Radio Netherlands Worldwide reveal.
The bishops and heads of religious orders and congregations are seeking advice on their legal position “concerning compensation regarding sexual abuse committed by people working in the Roman Catholic Church”.
The recommendations will be drawn up by a commission headed by Siewert Lindenbergh, a law professor at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. The two other commission members are personal injury lawyers. They are expected to present their findings next spring.
Boarding school The fact that the Church is thinking of paying collective compensation emerges from documents on the abuse of pupil by seven priests, among them the future Bishop Jan ter Schure. The abuse took place between 1948 and 1953 at a boarding school run by the Salesians of Don Bosco in the central Dutch village of Ugchelen.
In 2003 the Salesians paid the victim 16,000 euros in compensation. Earlier this year the order postponed a decision on making an additional payment until it became clear whether the Church would be paying collective compensation.
Next week the Deetman enquiry will make an intermediate recommendation on support for victims. The Church has commissioned Christian Democrat Wim Deetman to investigate sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. It’s thought his recommendation may refer to the need for a collective financial agreement.
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