Second sex abuse suspect priest suspended

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Two priests suspected of child sex abuse have been suspended from Saint Lucas parish, which comprises several Roman Catholic churches in a large rural area of the eastern Netherlands.

On Thursday, the archdiocese of Utrecht announced that, as well as Father Bert Sturkenboom, a second priest from Saint Lucas had been suspended following allegations of child sexual abuse. The priest, who conducted services in the church at Putten, had been suspended from his duties for some time, according to the archdiocese.

Father Sturkenboom, who was suspended on Wednesday last week, chairs the parish board and is team leader of Saint Lucas’ priests. The parish itself published his name.

Saint Lucas now has just three working priests to serve churches in Nijkerk, Ermelo, Voorthuizen, Barneveld, Achterveld, Leusden, Hoevelaken and Putten. The archdiocese says a locum priest will go to Saint Lucas to help out with the workload.

Reports The KLOKK umbrella organisation for victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands received two reports of abuse involving the priests and passed them on to the authorities. Both reports are being investigated, but the archdiocese is refusing to comment on either.

The abuse is said to have taken place in the 1970s and 1980s in the province of Utrecht. The archdiocese expects the situation to become clearer within some weeks.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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