Dutch Catholic Church seeks advice on compensation for abuse
The Dutch Catholic Church said Monday it has appointed a commission to give it legal advice on liability to pay compensation for sexual abuse.
"The Dutch Bishops Conference and the Dutch Religious Conference have decided to seek advice regarding the legal position of dioceses, orders and congregations with regards to compensation for sexual abuses committed by people who worked in the Roman Catholic Church," a statement said.
To this end, the two bodies appointed a commission of three legal experts in such topics as financial damages and compensation for bodily injury, that will report to Dutch bishops early next year.
"The commission was asked to consider all civil-legal aspects, like prescription (a limit on the period of time within which a crime can be prosecuted), legal liability, and compensation," the statement said.
Church spokesmen declined to give further details.
In March, the same two bodies ordered a "broad, external and independent" probe of alleged sexual abuse in the church. By August, a special commission had received about 900 reports from alleged victims and witnesses.
This followed reports of dozens of alleged abuse cases in the Netherlands dating back to the 1960s and 70s amid an ever-widening European scandal over pedophile priests.
© 2010 AFP