The Dutch Catholic Church will probe claims that pupils at a monastery school in the eastern Netherlands were sexually abused by priests in the 1960s, a church official said Monday.
"The Order of Salesians of Don Bosco has decided to open an investigation," Herman Spronck, the head priest of the order, which runs the Don Rua monastery in the town of 's-Heerenberg, told AFP.
Three possible victims have been identified, he said.
The inquiry was launched after a Dutch newspaper last Friday reported the testimony of a former pupil who claims to have been sexually abused while at Don Rua.
"Our first concern is for the victims," said Spronck. "They have the right to acknowledgement of the harm that was done to them."
The monastery hosted 80 to 100 children aged between 12 and 18 every year between 1958 and 1971.
A meeting of the Dutch Bishops' Conference on March 9 will determine whether to expand the probe to other orders and monestaries, said Spronck.
Repeated revelations of paedophile priests have rocked the Roman Catholic Church in recent months.
In November, it emerged that Church authorities in Ireland covered up for priests who abused children in the mainly Catholic country for three decades.
The order of Salesians was founded in 1859 by Italian priest John Bosco to help underprivileged young people. It has 16,000 member institutions worldwide, which 55 are in the Netherlands.
Although hard to imagine, the shortage in the skilled and highly-educated workforces is expected to grow in the coming years. Expatica therefore introduces the International Job Fair, the event for pursuing an international career in the Netherlands.
Looking for love? Interested in making new friends? Meet the most eligible internationals in the Netherlands. Don't miss out! Previous participants have said they “ended up really enjoying it a lot more than expected.”
“Get out of your comfort zone and challenge your beliefs,” says Expatica’s dating expert Jean-Baptiste Trannoy.
A guide to telephone, internet and television along with utility services water, electricity and gas in the Netherlands.
Lost in the Dutch immigration system? Look no further than this guide compiled for our Survival Guide 2012.
Expatica offers a whistle-stop tour of life in the modern Netherlands.
The challenges and benefits of the maternity system in the Netherlands and how it differs to other countries.