"Require VOG from priests"

28th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2007, HILVERSUM – A majority in Parliament wants Roman Catholic priests and other church workers who work with children to be required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct, (VOG), also called a ‘police clearance certificate' in some countries. This measure would aim to combat the sexual abuse of children, the television programme Netwerk reported on Thursday.

28 September 2007

HILVERSUM – A majority in Parliament wants Roman Catholic priests and other church workers who work with children to be required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct, (VOG), also called a ‘police clearance certificate' in some countries.
 
This measure would aim to combat the sexual abuse of children, the television programme Netwerk reported on Thursday.

The programme's own research indicated that some Roman Catholic priests who have been found guilty of child molestation continue to work with children.

A VOG is already required for teachers in primary education. The Labour PvdA, Socialist SP, Freedom party PVV, green-left GroenLinks and democrats D66 support the introduction of this kind of requirement for church workers who work with children.

The Roman Catholic church in the US has been particularly shaken up over the past years because of scandals with priests who have molested children or youth.

Some dioceses, such as the Los Angeles one, have had to sell of some of their properties to pay for damages awarded to victims. Other dioceses have gone bankrupt.

Hulp & Recht, the reporting office for sexual abuse within the Dutch Catholic church says it has received 112 reports over the past six years. 27 of these resulted in charges being pressed.

On Netwerk, church historian Peter Nissen explained the low number of actual charges by saying that Hulp & Recht primarily aims to prevent major damage to the church.

He estimates that 7 to 10 percent of the Catholic priests have crossed the line with regard to sexual behaviour.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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