Second report condemns Catholic church for abusing thousands of girls

12th March 2013, Comments 4 comments

The Catholic church must acknowledge and compensate the thousands of girls who were sexually and physically abused by priests, monks and nuns, according to a new report focusing on female abuse victims.

The report, the second produced by the specialist committee led by Wim Deetman, looked at 150 cases in which girls were physically and sexually abused. The research focused on the period 1945 to 2010.

Three of the cases are so serious they are to be referred to the public prosecution department, even though they technically happened too long ago.

The report shows that girls were more likely to be abused in their homes whereas boys were usually abused at boarding schools. But girls were more likely to to be subjected to physical violence and mental abuse by nuns and other carers when they were living in institutions.

Last week, the Volkskrant reported that five of the seven church abuse victims to get the maximum compensation payment of €100,000 are women.

It is not clear how many girls were abused by clerics and nuns, but it could run up to 10,000, the Deetman report said.


Although church archives gave little indication of physical abuse, a picture did arise of a 'climate based on formality and a lack of affection, of chilly emotions and toughness, repression and humilation', Nos quoted the report as saying.

Deetman, a former Christian Democratic party chairman, has now urged the church to appoint mediators to help the victims of abuse come to terms with what happened to them, in combination with financial compensation.

The Catholic church on Monday offered its excuses to women who were abused by members of religious orders in their youth. The authorities said bishops would do their utmost to ensure the 'recovery of trust, healing and reconciliation'.

However, Maud Kips, of the female church abuse survivors organisation VPKK, told Trouw on Monday she felt the new report had been compiled too quickly. 'Abuse within the church is considered a male thing. Women have felt ignored for a long time,' she told the paper.

800 priests

In the first report published in December, Deetman said at least 800 Roman Catholic priests and monks were involved in abusing children in their care between 1945 and 1985.

In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were aware of what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the commission said. The commission was set up by the Catholic church in March 2010 after the sexual abuse scandal broke in the Netherlands and hundreds of victims came forward. Over 2,000 people have since registered their abuse with the authorities.

Parliament had asked Deetman's committee to compile a second report focusing on girls.


3 Comments To This Article

  • Pio posted:

    on 13th March 2013, 08:27:21 - Reply

    Of the 800 accused, only 105 are still alive? And celibacy was not he issue, according to the Deetman report.
  • Gabriel posted:

    on 13th March 2013, 08:11:37 - Reply

    Tthe abuse cases date back between the 50's and 80's. Many of the 4% are now retired or passed away. We should first expose the common lie presented by the media. They keep talking about paedophilia among clergymen, while it is most often the case that the problem is ephebophilia, which is a perversion consisting in adult homosexual men being attracted not to children, but to pubescent and adolescent boys. It is a typical deviation related to homosexuality. Basic knowledge about that reality includes the fact that more than 80 percent of cases involving sexual abuse by clergymen reported in the U.S.A. were cases of ephebophilia, not paedophilia. That fact has been carefully hidden and ignored. “Analysis of the research demonstrates clearly that the major cause of the crisis was the homosexual abuse of males,” said Fitzgibbons in an interview with the Catholic News Agency.

    The new study, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and commissioned by the U.S. Bishops, shows that nearly 80 percent of victims were post-pubescent and adolescent males. However, the study concludes that available data “do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity ... are significantly more likely to sexually abuse.”

    The report marks the third such effort by U.S. Bishops to address the causes and manifestations of the clerical sex abuse scandal since it first erupted publicly in 2002.

    The data also shows that less than 5 percent of abuse involved prepubescent children, contravening rumor that the scandal largely manifested as acts of pedophilia. But homosexuality, according to Fitzgibbons, was clearly the primary sexual aberration driving the bulk of abuse.

    “One can conclude that these priests have strong same-sex attraction,” said Fitzgibbons. “When an adult is involved with homosexual behavior with an adolescent male, he clearly has a major problem in the area of homosexuality.”

    The psychologist said that, while the college has done good work collecting data, criminologists “lack the professional expertise to comment on causes of sexual abuse.”

    “If the (U.S. bishops) conference wanted an analysis of the causes of complex sexual behavior with adolescents, don’t turn to criminologists,” said Fitzgibbons. “They are not trained to understand those causes - that training is given to mental health professionals.”

  • advocate posted:

    on 13th March 2013, 06:50:52 - Reply

    it horrible to see the extent of harm done to individuals due to this sex scandal. but the church refuses to acknowledge that it is a problem world over n needs remedial measures such as code of conduct, relaxation of celibacy encouraging married men n women priests.