Archbishop dismissed for sexual abuse


This video is called Vatican tribunal convicts former envoy of sex abuse.

From Associated Press:

Jozef Wesolowski, Vatican Ex-Ambassador, Convicted Of Sex Abuse

By Nicole Winfield

Posted: 06/27/2014 9:26 am EDT Updated: 2 hours ago

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican‘s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and has been defrocked, the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative.

The Vatican said Friday that Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.

Wesolowski has two months to appeal. He also faces other charges by the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, since as a papal diplomat he is a citizen of the tiny city state.

The Holy See recalled the Polish-born Wesolowski on Aug. 21, 2013, and relieved him of his job after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican authorities subsequently opened an investigation, but haven’t charged him. Poland, too, opened an investigation into Wesolowski and a friend and fellow Polish priest.

Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse, and his case raised questions about whether the Vatican, by removing him from Dominican jurisdiction, was protecting him and placing its own investigations ahead of that of authorities in the Caribbean nation.

The Vatican has never said how Wesolowski responded to the charges and hasn’t provided any contact information for his lawyer.

The case is particularly problematic for the Vatican since Wesolowski was a representative of the pope, accused of grave crimes that the Holy See has previously sought to distance itself from by blaming the worldwide sex abuse scandal on wayward priests and their bishops who failed to discipline them, not Vatican officials.

The case has also been delicate because Wesolowski was both ordained a priest and bishop by his Polish countryman and former pope, St. John Paul II.

‘British Establishment crony Sir Jimmy Savile abused children, patients, dead bodies’


This video from Britain is called Jimmy Savile & Margaret Thatcher.

Jimmy Savile, while he was alive, probably abused thousands of children and other people. At least some people in the British establishment knew that, but kept silent. The British government of Margaret Thatcher made Savile a nobleman, Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile. Thatcher succeeded in this in 1990, after her fellow Conservative ministers had vetoed four earlier attempts at it. Also in 1990, Pope John Paul II made Savile a Knight of the Vatican.

In 1978, John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) of punk band the Sex Pistols, spoke in a BBC interview about Savile’s sexual abuse. The BBC censored that interview. Three years later, in 1981, Margaret Thatcher said Savile was ´marvelous´.

Only after Savile´s death the horrible truth became known to the general public.

From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Jimmy Savile told hospital staff his jewellery was made using dead patients’ glass eyes

June 26, 2014 11:31

By Richard Hartley-Parkinson

An investigation heard multiple sickening claims from different staff at Leeds General Infirmary where he was a regular visitor

Jimmy Savile told hospital staff that jewellery he wore was ‘made from the glass eyes of dead bodies at the mortuary’, an investigation has heard.

The disgraced presenter was also reported to have acted ‘unacceptably’ with bodies in the mortuary of Leeds General Infirmary.

An investigation into his abuse at the hospital heard the now-dead entertainer claimed to have “interfered with the bodies of deceased patients”, including performing sex acts on them.

Investigators said while there was no way of proving Savile interfered with the bodies in this way, they concluded that “it is evident his interest in the mortuary was not within accepted boundaries”.

Dr Sue Proctor, who led the investigation into Savile’s abuse at the LGI, told a press conference a student nurse reported having had a conversation with Savile in which he claimed he performed sex acts on the dead.

While she said the allegations cannot be verified now, Dr Proctor said they had to be considered in the context that the controls around access to the mortuary in the 1980s were “lax”.

Dr Proctor referred to Savile’s claims that large rings he wore were “made from the glass eyes of dead bodies at the mortuary”.

Savile’s professed interest in the dead was described by Dr Proctor as “pretty unwholesome”.

Savile visited the mortuary in his role as voluntary porter and that he visited socially with his friend, who was the chief mortician.

Investigators said he publicly acknowledged his fascination with the dead and there were a lack of stringent procedures surrounding the mortuary.

A series of chilling reports have revealed Savile subjected patients in hospitals across the country to “truly awful” sexual abuse for more than four decades.

Savile’s victims at the LGI ranged from five-years-old to pensioners and included men, women, boys and girls.

At high-security hospital Broadmoor, Savile sexually abused at least five individuals, including two patients who were subjected to repeated assaults.

Investigators discovered members of staff at the LGI failed to pass on complaints of abuse to senior managers, who could have acted to stop it happening.

And they also found “clear failings” in the way access to wards in Broadmoor was controlled, as Savile had keys allowing him unrestricted access to ward areas within the security perimeter.

A joint statement from NHS chiefs described the findings of the investigations as “truly awful”, while both current chief executives of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which covers Broadmoor, apologised to victims.

The inquiry into his activities at LGI after he started his association in 1960 included the testimonies of 60 people who gave accounts of their experiences with Savile to investigators – 33 of these were patients.

Three of these incidents were rapes, the investigators said.

The Leeds team said 19 of those who came forward were under 16 years old and the age range was five to 75.

They said the majority were teenagers but 19 victims were hospital staff – all women.

At Broadmoor, investigators found sexual relationships between staff and patients were tolerated in what was a “clear, repeated failure of safeguarding standards”.

There was an atmosphere within the hospital that tolerated inappropriate behaviour and discouraged reporting, the probe said.

Savile’s “often flamboyantly inappropriate” attitude towards women was seen as part of his public act, “just Jimmy”, the report found.

In a disturbing finding, it was noted that Savile sometimes watched as female patients undressed for baths in the wards, and at other times looked through doorways while making inappropriate comments.

While fewer assaults were reported to have taken place at Broadmoor than other hospitals, the inquiry concluded that Savile was “an opportunistic sexual predator” throughout the time he was associated with the institution and attributed the smaller number of complaints to an atmosphere of fear among staff as to what might happen if they did report incidents.

Investigator Dr Bill Kirkup said the report’s findings are “likely to represent an underestimate of the true picture”.

Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC’s Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, died aged 84 in October 2011 – a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile.

The documentary ultimately led to a joint review by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC into allegations that the television presenter abused women, girls and boys.

The findings of the review, published in January last year, saw 214 criminal offences, including 34 rapes, recorded against Savile’s name across the UK between 1955 and 2009.

Claims that some of the abuse happened in hospital settings triggered separate NHS investigations published today.

A key report into his activities at Stoke Mandeville Hospital has been delayed after new information recently came to light.

Jimmy Savile’s reign of abuse across NHS exposed in detailed investigation. Edwina Currie voices regret as report reveals sexual predator’s activities at 28 hospital trusts: here.

Report reveals Edwina Currie approved Jimmy Savile’s role at hospitals: here.

Those who shielded Jimmy Savile are still silent. Given the evidence from dozens of witnesses, how did Savile, a child molester and sex pest, escape attention? Here.

With a steady stream of revelations of paedophilia within Parliament and the media, STEVEN WALKER asks just how far the Establishment cover-up extends: here.

ONCE beloved entertainer Rolf Harris saw his reputation end in disgrace yesterday after he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault: here.

POLICE considered fresh allegations against Rolf Harris yesterday as the ink dried on his conviction for indecent assault: here.

‘Pope’s meeting with clerical abuse survivors a PR stunt’


This 2012 video says about itself:

David Clohessy, a member of SNAP – the survivors network for those abused by priests speaks to Al Jazeera from St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Pope’s meeting with abuse victims is meaningless, says US advocacy group

Main US clerical sex abuse victims’ group dismisses Pope Francis‘s planned meeting as a public relations coup

Lizzy Davies in Rome and agencies

Tuesday 27 May 2014 16.32 BST

The head of a US-based group advocating for victims of clerical sex abuse has dismissed news that Pope Francis is to meet with a group of abuse victims for the first time, reportedly labelling the planned encounter “utterly meaningless”.

On his way back from a high-profile, three-day trip to the Middle East, the Argentinian pontiff told journalists on board the papal plane that sex abuse was “an ugly crime”.

“It is like a satanic mass,” he is reported to have said. “We must go ahead with zero tolerance.”

Echoing a similar move made by his predecessor Benedict XVI in 2010, Francis said he would meet with eight victims of sex abuse at the Vatican early next month. They would also attend mass at the Vatican guesthouse where he lives, he said.

Though applauded for his reform agenda in other areas, Francis has been accused by abuse victims of failing to grasp the deep changes they say are needed to prevent further cases and properly punish perpetrators not only of the abuse itself but of its cover-up.

Francis has made the personal touch a trademark of his papacy – communicating a warmth and understanding to ordinary people that his predecessor rarely managed – but victims of abuse by officials in the Roman Catholic church have repeatedly chided him for failing to express more empathy.

They reacted with particular annoyance to an interview that Francis gave to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in March, in which he defended the church’s handling of the crisis and said no other institution in the world had “done more” to stamp out child abuse.

On Tuesday, news of the pope’s planned meeting with victims appeared to have done little to change the mind of David Clohessy, executive director of the main US victims’ group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (Snap).

“The simple truth is this is another gesture, another public relations coup, another nice bit of symbolism that will leave no child better off and bring no real reform to a continuing, scandal-ridden church hierarchy,” he told the Associated Press.

Clohessy said the meeting was “just utterly, utterly meaningless.” He has been equally damning of Francis’s other major contribution to the church’s efforts to improve its record: the establishment in December of a commission of experts, including an Irish victim of abuse, Marie Collins, to look at ways of better protecting minors.

Not everyone was as dismissive of the meeting, which is being organised by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the US city shaken by abuse revelations in 2002.

Mitchell Garabedian, a local attorney who represents victims, told the AP that a face-to-face encounter with victims was “the most powerful tool that the pope can use in understanding the ugliness and horror of clergy sexual abuse and why it must be stopped or prevented”.

He hoped, however, that there would be more than just one meeting, and that it would prove “substantive and meaningful”.

During his 40-minute exchange with journalists on the flight back to Rome from Tel Aviv, Francis also revealed that three bishops were currently under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons. It was not clear whether they were accused of committing abuse or having covered it up.

During Francis’s papacy, a new dynamic has formed in the debate around the church’s handling of the sex abuse scandal, with two United Nations human-rights panels criticising the Vatican’s actions and urging it to do more.

The latest of these came last week, when the United Nations Committee Against Torture (Cat) produced its concluding observations on the Holy See, calling on it, among other recommendations, to place “meaningful sanctions” on clerics who fail to deal properly with credible allegations against priests.

The Vatican disputed much of the report’s legitimacy, but said it would “give serious consideration” to the recommendations.

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United Nations criticize Vatican about child abuse


This video says about itself:

The Vatican answers to the UN Committee Against TortureCCR and SNAP report back

6 May 2014

Greetings from Geneva where, this Monday and Tuesday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture will question the Vatican about its record on child sexual violence.

This is the second time this year the Vatican has been called by an international body to account for its handling of the crisis of sexual violence throughout the Catholic Church. CCR will be there again with our clients, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), to attend the proceedings and report back to survivors, advocates, and supporters via live stream. Tune in to our report-back on Tuesday, May 6, at 8:30 pm CET (2:30 pm EST).

You can follow the global conversation about this historic hearing on Twitter using the hashtag #VaticanAccountability and ask questions before or during the report-back by tweeting to the hashtag or emailing your questions to askCCR@ccrjustice.org. We will answer as many as possible during the live stream.

Throughout the world, children and vulnerable adults have been and continue to be subjected to widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence by priests and others associated with the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican’s policies and practices enable this violence. The Committee Against Torture has been clear that rape and sexual violence constitute forms of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In April, SNAP and CCR submitted reports to the Committee, detailing how the Vatican has violated the core principles of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, which it ratified in 2002.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

UN Committee Against Torture criticises Vatican handling of sex abuse

Experts reject argument that Vatican only exercises control over city state and is not accountable for priests’ actions worldwide

Lizzy Davies in Rome

Friday 23 May 2014 15.43 BST

The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) has criticised the Vatican‘s handling of the clerical sex abuse scandal, urging the Catholic church to do more to punish perpetrators, help victims and place “meaningful sanctions” on clerics who fail to deal properly with credible allegations.

In observations published on Friday following a two-day hearing this month, the panel’s 10 experts rejected the Holy See’s argument that it only exercises control over the tiny Vatican City State and cannot be held accountable for the actions of Catholic priests and bishops throughout the world.

They called on the Holy See to “take effective measures” to monitor individuals under its “effective control” and to “stop and sanction” conduct that would constitute “credible allegations of violations of the [UN] Convention [against Torture]“.

Before the report had even been released, the Vatican issued a statement declaring that it had not been found to be “in violation” of the convention.

But advocates of abuse victims rejected this outright, labelling the report “a historic document” that they said recognised clerical sexual abuse as a form of torture and other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment.

“They’re clearly wrong,” said Pam Spees of the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights, regarding the Vatican’s assertion. “This is an important recognition of the gravity of these offences that have been minimised by the church, places responsibility where it belongs – with the hierarchy in the church, not the victims – and could help open new avenues for redress.”

Felice D Gaer, the CAT’s American vice-chair, told the Guardian: “Legal scholars will tell you that when we write about a concern and make a recommendation we are identifying something that is not in conformity with the requirements of the convention. We don’t use the word ‘violation'; others do. But it’s quite clear it’s not in conformity with the requirements of the convention.”

The report was the first issued by the CAT into the Holy See, and comes after another UN panel – the Committee on the Rights of the Child – issued a scathing rebuke to the Vatican in February, calling it out not only on its handling of child sex abuse cases but also on its stances on abortion and homosexuality.

Those findings prompted an angry response from the Vatican, which accused the panel of ideologically motivated interference in church teachings.

The CAT report, while critical of the church’s sex abuse record, praises it for the steps taken, and, crucially, leaves out any mention of reproductive rights, which some campaigners had urged the panel to consider.

John L Allen, long-term Vatican observer and correspondent for the Boston Globe, said the difference between the two reports indicated the CAT had not wanted its criticisms to be vulnerable to similar attacks.

“It’s pretty clear that, the last time around, the Vatican and its allies used the fact that there was a lot of language in that report that wasn’t about sex abuse – it was about abortion, homosexuality and so on, culture wars – to suggest that it was ideologically driven. They also complained that it had not acknowledged any positive steps the church had taken,” he said.

“They styled the whole thing as a sort of political exercise – you know, axe-grinding and so on. It would seem clear to me that the Committee Against Torture did not want its findings to be dismissed in the same way.”

In its report, the CAT panel noted progress made by the church on the clerical sex abuse scandal, for example welcoming Pope Francis’s establishment of a commission for the protection of minors, and his statement in April that the church needed to be “even stronger” in its tackling of the problem.

The UN experts also welcomed the Vatican’s publication for the first time this month of comprehensive statistics on how many Catholic priests had been disciplined following abuse allegations. But they added that the Holy See had not provided data regarding how many abuse allegations had been reported to the civil law enforcement authorities in the relevant countries.

The CAT said it was “concerned” by reports that some church officials “resist the principle of mandatory reporting of [abuse] allegations to civil authorities”, urging the church to prevent “credibly accused” abusers being simply transferred to other parishes and dioceses “for the purposes of avoiding proper investigation and punishment of their crimes.”

Any church official who failed to handle credible allegations “with due diligence” should be punished, it added.

Citing the case of Polish archbishop Josef Wesolowski, a former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic accused of sex abuse, it said the Holy See should “if warranted … ensure such persons are criminally prosecuted or extradited for prosecution by the civil authorities” of the relevant country.

It also said it was “deeply concerned” by reports of victims being unable to obtain adequate redress or compensation for their suffering and asked the Vatican to set up an independent complaints mechanism.

In its statement, the Vatican said: “The Holy See condemns sex abuse as a serious crime and a grave violation of human dignity.” It noted the criticisms within the report and said it would “give serious consideration” to its recommendations.

UN Committee Addresses Clergy Rape and Sexual Violence as Torture. Despite Objections and Early Pressure from Vatican Officials, Committee Takes on Church Policies and Practices That Enable Widespread Sexual Violence by Clergy: here.

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Dutch bishop abused children, keeps knighthood


This video from the USA says about itself:

8 May 2014

As UN Torture Committee Probes Vatican, Sex-Abuse Survivors Urge Church to End Decades-Long Cover-up.

In Britain, ‘media personality’ Jimmy Savile abused many, maybe 1,000 children, as the public found out after his death. Savile was a Knight of the Vatican. The Vatican said they could not revoke that order of knighthood.

Now, translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today, about ultra-conservative Bishop Jo Gijsen, also after his death:

Bishop Gijsen keeps royal honour

05/12/14, 16:29

It is not possible to revoke the royal honour of the deceased bishop of Roermond Jo Gijsen, writes Mayor Peter Cammaert of Roermond in response to questions from a resident of Baexem who asked to posthumously revoke Gijsen‘s knighthood because of the bishop’s sexual abuse of two boys.

Gijsen in 1993 was made a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. Cammaert writes that medals can only be annulled if someone has been convicted to one or more years in prison.

The committee about complaints of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church recently declared two complaints about abuse by Gijsen valid, but the bishop was never convicted by a judge.

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United Nations criticize Vatican about clerical child abuse


This video says about itself:

UN watchdog slams Vatican’s child abuse record

5 February 2014

The UN denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for failing to stamp out systematic child abuse and called on the Church to remove all clergy suspected of raping or molesting children.

From Associated Press:

UN panel compares Vatican’s global abuse scandal to torture

May 5, 2014

By JOHN HEILPRIN

GENEVA — A U.N. committee compared the Vatican’s handling of the global priest sex abuse scandal with torture Monday, raising the possibility that its failure to investigate clergy and their superiors could have broader legal implications.

But the Vatican’s top envoy in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, claimed that the Holy See was getting its house in order after a decade-long effort to deal with a global priest sex abuse scandal.

“There has been, in several documentable areas, stabilization and even a decline of cases in pedophilia,” he told a committee of experts in charge of the U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the Vatican ratified in 2002.

At the Holy See’s first appearance before the committee, experts mainly peppered the Vatican with tough questions to be answered Tuesday. For instance, they asked why the report on its implementation of the treaty was almost a decade late, and why the Vatican believes its responsibility for protecting against torture only applies within tiny Vatican City, a nation of less than 1,000 inhabitants.

“I wonder if you could tell us how you insure that the criminal prohibition against torture in Vatican City covers all individuals for whom the Holy See has jurisdiction,” asked committee member Felice Gaer.

Experts said a finding by the committee that the systematic abuse amounted to torture could have drastic legal implications for the church as it continues to battle civil litigation around the world resulting from the decades-long scandal that saw tens of thousands of children raped and molested by priests.

Katherine Gallagher, a human rights attorney for the New York-based nonprofit legal group, the Center for Constitutional Rights, said such a finding could open the floodgates to abuse lawsuits dating back decades because there are no statutes of limitations on torture cases. Gallagher, whose group represents Vatican sex scandal victims, said rape can legally constitute a form of torture because of the elements of intimidation, coercion, and exploitation of power.

“The torture committee’s questions really were about sexual violence and rape, and they made it clear that these acts fall within the definition of torture and the Vatican’s obligations under the torture convention,” she said after the hearing.

“A recognition by the torture committee that this is one of the most significant crimes could really open up a new level of prosecutions and accountability,” she added.

Pope Francis has said he takes personal responsibility for the “evil” of clergy sex abuse, and has sought forgiveness from victims. He has insisted that the church must be even bolder in its efforts to protect children.

On Saturday, members of the Pope’s sexual abuse advisory board said they will develop “clear and effective” protocols to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they fail to report suspected abuse or protect children from pedophile priests.

Francis announced the creation of the commission last December and named its members in March after coming under initial criticism for having ignored the sex abuse issue.

The U.N. committee, which is composed of independent experts, will issue its final observations and recommendations May 23.

In January, a U.N. committee that monitors a key treaty on children’s rights accused the Holy See of systematically placing its own interests over those of victims. That committee rejected the Vatican’s argument that it had limited geographical responsibility.

___

Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.

See also here.

As U.N. Torture Committee Probes Vatican, Sex-Abuse Survivors Urge Church to End Cover-up: here.

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Dutch people lose faith in churches


This video says about itself:

6 September 2010

This is an interview with Gary Bergeron, clergy abuse survivor, aired on VRT Belgian/Dutch TV.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Less and less confidence in church

Update: Monday 28 May 2014, 07:33

Trust of Dutch people in churches is the lowest now for the last twenty years. Especially among Roman Catholics trust in the church between 2008 and 2010 declined strongly, says the Social and Cultural Planning Office.

The number of church members has declined from 75 percent of the population in 1958 to 30 percent in 2012. Even fewer people go to church. In the 1980’s 17 percent went to the church every week. Now that is still 10 per cent.

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Sexual abuse by nuns in the Netherlands


This video from Australia says about itself:

Sexual Abuse is in the DNA of Catholic Church – ABC News / Lateline

27 February 2013

Former monk and priest, and now advocate for victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, Patrick J Wall, says sexual abuse of children has been part of the culture of the Catholic Church as far back as 60 AD and despite constant attempts by the Popes to curtain the problem, it has never been snuffed out.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Abuse by nuns recognized less often

Update: Tuesday 22 April 2014, 12:33

Sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church by women is recognized relatively less often than abuse by men. The commission for reporting sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church received a total of 59 complaints. In 8 of the 22 completed cases so far, the complaint was upheld.

Half of all cases involved just one perpetrator. The hotline says that makes it more difficult to decide in these cases. Among the victims were not only boys and girls but also other nuns.

Given the large number of women in the church, they have caused relatively few casualties, said the hotline.

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Bishop Gijsen threatened little boy he abused with hellfire


This video is about an LGBTQ demonstration in 1979 in Roermond, the Netherlands, against homophobic speech by Jo Gijsen, then bishop of Roermond.

Translated from Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad today:

“Bishop Gijsen threatened abused boy with hell”

Former Bishop Jo Gijsen made two victims, according to statements by the complaints committee about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But according to advocacy groups Klokk and Mea Culpa there are more cases against the now deceased cleric. The abuse took placed when Gijsen was a priest in South Limburg.

On February 11, the complaints committee said that two accusations against Gijsen were well founded. One of their documents points out that in the late 1950s a little boy, then nine years old, had to bring regularly letters by his father to a curate in Valkenburg. That curate was Jo Gijsen.

On one of those occasions Gijsen invited the boy to drink chocolate. Then he pulled the little boy on his lap and proceeded to play with the penis of the terribly startled youngster. Gijsen told the boy to be silent about this or he would be punished by going to hell. This abuse happened more often, and the committee declared the complaint about it well-founded.

The victim says the former bishop has forced him to perform oral sex as well and has raped or attempted to rape him several times.

USA: Revelations of extra-marital affairs and a porn habit leave the 20,000 worshippers of one mega-church leaderless: here.

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