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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The shame of the Catholic Church in Belgium

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Some of the conclusions of the outgoing Commission on sexual abuse. The Church is announcing a new Commission on Monday.

Two thirds of the victims were boys, girls one third. There are only 45 reports from French-speaking Belgium. 80% of the victims are now over forty years.

* On average, victims were 12 years old when the abuse started, but one was only two years old. Female victims are spread evenly across all ages, the boys are at much higher risk between 10 and 14 years.

* The testimonies show that it is not about superficial groping, but oral and anal abuse, forced and mutual masturbation.

* There is sexual abuse in all religious orders. But there is not one case committed by nuns.

* Thirteen victims committed suicide.

* Only 5% of known victims went to court.

* Half of the known offenders are already deceased.

* The events occurred between the fifties and the late eighties in boarding schools According to the Commission the abuse happened in all schools for boys. After 1985 a sharp decline in the number of known victims.

* Two out of three victims who have personally met the Commission had the facts in their youth told their parents, but almost no one was believed.

* Celibacy is rarely the cause of the sexual abuse that perpetrators commit, according to the first interviews with offenders.

The Commission recommends that in addition a discussion of the statute of limitation:

* Sexual abuse in other religions should be examined. Adriaenssens advocates a faith center for adults, not only addressing sexual abuse, but also violence.

And Cardinal Danneels knew nothing!
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