Dutch bishop investigated for sexual abuse in Kenya

5th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

An investigation is underway to see whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a retired Dutch Roman Catholic bishop, Cornelius Schilder, for the sexual abuse of an underage boy in Kenya 18 years ago.

The investigation by the Dutch Public Prosecutor follows a report by the Deetman Commission which has been probing abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The commission alerted the Dutch authorities to the matter. The case is complicated by the fact that the victim lives in Kenya and has not reported the matter to the Dutch police.

Bishop Schilder, who now lives in the town of Oosterbeek in the Netherlands, is refusing to speak to the media. His lawyer has told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that his client denies the allegation.

Injuries The case came to light in 2005 when alleged victim Michael ole Uka, now 32, had to be treated for injuries said to be the result of the abuse. Mr Uka says he was abused by various priests over a long period and that he was first abused by Bishop S in 1993.

The alleged abusers are members of the Mill Hill Missionaries St Joseph's Society for Foreign Missions. The society paid for Mr Uka’s medical treatment and took action against the suspected abusers. However, the matter was not reported to local police because homosexuality “is still a crime in Kenya”.

The case was reported to the authorities in the Vatican. However, it took Rome three years and repeated requests from Mill Hill to force the bishop into retirement.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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