‘Catholic friar’s murder of children covered up’


This is a Dutch video about the suspect deaths of 34 children in the Saint Joseph institution in Heel.

Translated from Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad:

June 25, 2012, 13:35

Information on possible infanticide suppressed

by Joep Dohmen

Information about the possible murder in the nineteen fifties of 34 retarded children by a friar in the Catholic St. Joseph institution in Limburg was covered up in 1990.

Then, the two authors of a book of remembrance at the eightieth anniversary of St. Joseph found in the archives of the diocese of Roermond information about the mysterious death of the children, for which a friar was said to be responsible. However, the authors hired by St. Joseph kept the data unpublished because they were “not proven” said Phil Janssen from Venlo who wrote the book jointly with Adri Gorissen, journalist of daily De Limburger. They did report it to the board of St. Joseph, according to Janssen. The board then did nothing.

Investigation of St. Joseph

Later this week the public prosecutor will present the results of a factual evaluation of the suspect high mortality rate in St. Joseph in the years 1952-1954. The investigation began last summer after notification by the church-appointed Deetman committee which investigated child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The committee had information about the death of 34 children found in the archives of the diocese of Roermond.

The authors of the memorial book already in 1990 knew about those documents, as turns now. They include information from the government labour inspectorate, which reported in 1958 about possible murders in St. Joseph and that children were severely ill-treated and abused there.

According to former employees of St. Joseph the now deceased Brother Andreas was responsible for the high mortality rate. The man left the congregation in 1970 and died in 1997 in Heerlen.

Other ex-friar already suspect

The issue is not unique, according to research by NRC Handelsblad. Earlier, another ex-friar of the same Congregation of the Brothers of Saint Joseph was in the news for the murder of patients he had under his care. This Frans H. in 1976 was convicted of the murder of five demented elderly people in a nursing home in Kerkrade. According to the Justice Department, he was involved in more than one hundred unexplained deaths in the nursing home. French H. joined the Congregation of Saint Joseph in 1960 as a friar.

See also the Dutch video here.

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8 thoughts on “‘Catholic friar’s murder of children covered up’

  1. Don’t you think its time for all Catholic Priests to realize that they are causing Catholics to question their faith in Jesus Christ over what they believe is instantaneously forgiven to them? How many families do they have to destroy, rape, murder, cause suicides and the like in order for them to acknowledge that they have severe sexual dysfunctional issues and problems and need to take their Anti-Psychotic Medications and check all interactions.

    • Indeed. For a long time, there was a belief in The Netherlands that member of Catholics religious orders could do no wrong. The Justice Minister a few decades ago, when a monk had helped a convicted criminal escape from jail, said: “I don’t understand. One expects only good things from monks”.

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