Roman Catholic Church admits ultra-conservative bishop abused little boys


Bishop Gijsen

Translated from RTL TV in the Netherlands today:

Diocese admits: Bishop Gijsen abused little boys

The diocese Roermond acknowledges that its former Bishop Jo Gijsen, deceased last year, abused two boys.

They do this in a statement from the diocese. [Present] Bishop Frans Wiertz apologizes to the victims and expresses his sorrow that “the later ecclesiastical and role model position of former Bishop Jo Gijsen has been damaged.”

Two underage boys

The statement follows a report by the Katholiek Nieuwsblad [Catholic Newspaper] earlier in the evening that Gijsen had groped the genitals of two minor boys between 1958 and 1961.

The newspaper reports that it is a one time fondling of a former student of the boys’ boarding school in Kerkrade and repeatedly fondling a boy (9-10 years old) from the parish in Valkenburg where Gijsen was chaplain until 1959. This boy is also said to have been forced to perform oral sex. He says he was also repeatedly raped by Gijsen.

In December 2011 the complaints committee of the Roman Catholic Church has ruled that the former bishop had acted during the late 1950s at the Rolduc seminary “in an unseemly way” and had violated the privacy of a former student there ‘grossly’.

There are still more abuse accusations against Gijsen (not sorted out yet).

Like Gijsen was in a sexual abuse scandal in Iceland while being bishop there.

Joannes Gijsen had become bishop in Roermond, the Netherlands, as one of several ultra-conservative Vatican appointees, against the wishes of most Roman Catholics in the diocese. His position in the Netherlands became untenable because of various issues, including sexual abuse at a seminary founded by Gijsen because he considered existing seminaries to be too liberal. The Vatican then moved Gijsen to Iceland, where there are few Roman Catholics.

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25 thoughts on “Roman Catholic Church admits ultra-conservative bishop abused little boys

  1. I hope all these ‘boys’ sue the Church and hurt them badly in the pocket. Many times the church has known of assaults and of accusations and all the do is move the offending priest instead of dealing with the problem. The church is not above the law of the land and must be made to be answerable.

    • Indeed. The Vatican did not just move Gijsen to another diocese, but to another country (Iceland) where he became involved in another sexual abuse scandal.

    • Eg, Pope John Paul II seemed to have thought that, if someone brings money and new recruits to the church, then investigating him about sexual abuse is not that urgent:

      About one group founded by a sexually abusive priest:

      “The Legionaries was formed in 1941 and became one of the most influential and fastest-growing orders in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II championed the group, which became known for its orthodox theology, military-style discipline, fundraising prowess and success recruiting priests at a time when seminary enrollment was generally dismal.”

      http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/mexican-roman-catholic-sexual-abuse-scandal/

  2. It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many.
    So let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Bishop Gijsen, will find the courage to speak up and contact law enforcement, no matter how long ago it happened even though he is dead.

    Your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com
    SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, teachers, Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

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