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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Cardinal knew of abuse by auxiliary bishop

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Cardinal Simonis knew in 2000 of abuse by his former auxiliary, Bishop Jan Nienhaus. He received a letter from a victim, journalist Ton Crijnen writes in a biography of the cardinal which appears this week.

In the letter, the man says that Nienhaus had been guilty of "erotic romps" writes newspaper Trouw. Simonis decided not to confront Nienhaust with the accusations, because there would not be enough evidence. Two months, the auxiliary bishop died.

In April this year it was announced that Nienhaus abused young boys in the sixties. The church had in 2012, four complaints upheld against the auxiliary bishop. That judgment was not then made public, because it was confidential.

"Had not known"

In 2010, Simonis said that even the church for decades was not aware of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. "We had not known about it" he said in the TV program Pauw and Witteman. That statement caused a great stir.

A year later it became known that Simonis in 1991 had helped a priest obtain a new parish in Amersfoort, when he knew that the man a year previously had been convicted of sexual abuse of three boys.

Simonis felt he had acted carefully, because the priest was investigated. There would be no chance of recurrence. yet the man re-offended.


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