Dutch bishops child abuse letter read in mass

18th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Priests in many Dutch Catholic churches have read out a letter written by bishops in response to a scathing report on child sex abuse at Catholic institutions.

The report, issued on Friday, concluded that child sex abuse by Dutch Roman Catholic priests had been far more extensive than previously thought and that the Church authorities knew it was taking place but failed to act appropriately and provide care for the victims.

The letter offers a detailed response to the report’s conclusions. In it, the bishops state: “it pains us that a number of priests and religious whose very calling it was to lead an exemplary life in order to bring others to God and to tend and protect them have betrayed the confidence of vulnerable minors.”

And they go on to say: “That this could happen within the Church is horrible. We condemn this in the strongest terms and we regret it from the bottom of our heart.” The bishops add that they fully realise how important it is that children should be able to grow up in safe surroundings.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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