Dutch bishop punished for sexually abusing children

Bishop Schilder

This video is called Catholic Clerical Sex Abuse.

Translated from Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad:

Vatican punishes Dutch bishop for child abuse

by Joep Dohmen

The Vatican half a year ago prohibited the Dutch bishop of the Diocese of Ngong in Kenya from saying mass after allegations of sexual abuse of underage boys. The issue was not publicized. This is the first time that the Vatican has punished a Dutch bishop because of child abuse.

The bishop, Monsignor Cor Schilder (69), left Kenya in early August 2009, officially for health reasons. Since then he is in a home of his congregation, the Missionaries of Mill Hill in Oosterbeek. The superior of the congregation in the Netherlands, Fons Eppink, confirmed to NRC Handelsblad and Radio Netherlands Worldwide that the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome has taken measures against Schilder.

“He is not allowed to say mass in public or to perform pastoral duties.” – Fons Eppink

The punishment in practice means Schilder cannot work as a priest. Schilder was in Kenya for nearly forty years. Since 2003, he was a bishop.

Fons Eppink was superior of the Mill Hill Missionaries in Kenya when the allegations emerged against the bishop. Eppink: “I have asked the Nuncio of the Vatican and the Archbishop of Kenya for a canon law investigation. Then, the Vatican took measures.” The police were not informed.

… Schilder himself does not reply to questions.

The accusations against Schilder are from a man who is now 32 years. He is a member of the Masai, a nomadic tribe, and says that, at the age of fourteen, he was raped by Schilder, who was not yet a bishop then. The man also accused another, now deceased, Dutch Mill Hill missionary.

Against a third Mill Hill missionary there is still an investigation by the Catholic aid agency Hulp en Recht. This father is said to have, after his return from Kenya, abused an underage girl in the mission house in Hoorn, North Holland.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, the abuse in Kenya may also be prosecuted in the Netherlands.

See also here. And here. And here. And here.

Dutch clerical child pornography scandal: here.

USA: A third man has filed a civil lawsuit charging that officials from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia covered up sexual assault allegations against a priest who molested him: here.

USA: Catholic School Students Suspended For Pro-Choice Demonstration: here.

Clergy sex allegations soar in the US: here.

Woman wins landmark judgement against Canadian paedophile priest: here.

How Priests Accused Of Abuse Can Go Undetected: here.

Vatican warns the Internet is leading the young to Satan, then finds way to wiggle out of pedophilia scandal (again): here.

Religious conservatism and sexual abuse of children: here.

USA: A sweeping new report on the clergy sex abuse scandal compares the Roman Catholic Church to police departments, with similar hierarchies, moral authority and isolated working environments: here.

Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press: “Defying the Roman Catholic archbishop of Detroit, a priest led a Mass Sunday organized by the American Catholic Council, a controversial umbrella group of liberal Catholics. And dozens of Catholic priests and deacons from the Detroit diocese attended the Mass, said organizers. They participated despite a letter from Archbishop Allen Vigneron ordering priests and deacons to not take part in the Mass because it was led by groups considered heretical by the Catholic Church and could violate Church law. Vigneron warned in a letter that clergy could be punished and defrocked for participating. The Mass was part of a weekend conference of about 2,000 liberal Catholics who are upset at the rightward turn of the Catholic Church. They want lay people to have more say in church decision-making. Many also want discussion about women, gay, and married priests, and more accountability on the issue of child abuse by priests”: here.

New reports finds Vatican abetted cover-up of child rape scandal in Ireland: here.

7 thoughts on “Dutch bishop punished for sexually abusing children

  1. May 16, 7:17 AM EDT

    Vatican suggests bishops report abuse to police

    Associated Press

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican told bishops around the world Monday that it was important to cooperate with police in reporting priests who rape and molest children and said they should develop guidelines for preventing sex abuse by next May.

    But the suggestions in the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are vague and nonbinding and fall far short of recommending the tough U.S.-style norms that bar a credibly accused priest from ministry while his case is investigated.

    The document marks the latest effort by the Vatican to show it’s serious about rooting out priestly pedophiles and preventing abuse following the eruption on a global scale of the abuse scandal last year with thousands of victims coming forward.

    But it was unlikely to impress advocates for victims who have long blamed the power of bishops bent on protecting the church and its priests for fueling the scandal. Without fear of punishment themselves, bishops frequently moved pedophile priests from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police or punishing them under church law.

    “Bishops ignore and conceal child sex crimes because they can,” said the main U.S. victims’ group Survivors’ Network for Those Abused by Priests in a statement issued before the letter was released. “So any ‘reform’ that doesn’t diminish bishops’ power and discretion is virtually meaningless.”

    Critically, the letter reinforces bishops’ authority in dealing with abuse cases. It says independent lay review boards that have been created in some countries to oversee the church’s child protection policies “cannot substitute” for bishops’ judgment and power.

    Recently, such lay review committees in the U.S. and Ireland have reported that some bishops “failed miserably” in following their own guidelines and had thwarted the boards’ work by withholding information and by enacting legal hurdles that made ensuring compliance impossible.

    In the letter, the Vatican told the bishops “it is important to cooperate” with civil law enforcement authorities and follow civil reporting requirements, though it doesn’t make such reporting mandatory. The Vatican has said such a binding rule would be problematic for priests working in countries with repressive regimes.

    The letter told the bishops’ conferences to draft guidelines for preventing abuse and caring for victims and report them back to the Congregation by May 2012. It said bishops should be prepared to listen to victims, to create “safe environment” programs for minors and to better screen seminarians and ensure they receive proper training about celibacy and the damage done to victims of sex abuse.

    It did not mention possible financial compensation for victims. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, stressed that such measures are to be taken up on a case-by-case basis and that such a recommendation didn’t belong in a general letter of guidance being issued by Rome.

    The letter stresses that accused priests are presumed innocent until the contrary is proven.

    That too is the case in the U.S. norms, but they bar credibly accused priests from any public church work while claims against them are under investigation. The U.S. norms, enacted after the abuse scandal exploded in Boston in 2002, says diocesan lay review boards help bishops oversee cases. Clergy found guilty are permanently barred from public ministry and, in some cases, ousted from the priesthood.

    The guidance given to bishops in the letter Monday falls far short of those recommendations: It merely reminds bishops that they are “always able to limit the exercise of the cleric’s ministry until the accusations are clarified.”

    The letter is being issued at a time when the U.S. norms – the most stringent guidelines in force – have been put into question amid a new scandal in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

    A Philadelphia grand jury earlier this year indicted a high-ranking church official on child endangerment charges for allegedly transferring predator priests. Four co-defendants – two priests, an ex-priest and a former Catholic school teacher – are charged with raping children.

    The grand jury found “substantial evidence of abuse” committed by at least 37 other priests who remained in active ministry at the time of the report. Philadelphia’s archbishop, Cardinal Justin Rigali, initially insisted that no archdiocesan priests in ministry had an “admitted or established allegation” against them. But he later suspended two dozen of the 37 priests.

    Last week, the head of the Philadelphia archdiocese’s lay review board publicly accused Rigali and his bishops of having “failed miserably at being open and transparent” because they prescreened which cases the board reviewed and left out crucial information for some priests they did review.

    And last week, Ireland’s National Board for Safeguarding Children, a church-appointed independent panel overseeing compliance with Ireland’s guidelines, said it had been prevented from fulfilling its mandate to review diocesan responses to abuse cases by bishops’ legal concerns about the priests’ privacy.

    On Friday, Amnesty International listed the Vatican in its annual report of global human rights abuses, citing revelations of clerical abuse around the world and the “enduring failure” of the church to address the crimes properly.

    “Such failures included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not co-operating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims,” Amnesty said in its report.

    © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


  2. Vicar arrested for alleged sex attack

    Religion: A Church of England vicar has been arrested after an allegation of a sex attack on a child, police said today.

    The Rev Chris Hanson, from east London, was bailed as police continue to investigate the alleged “historic” offence in Berkshire, a Thames Valley Police spokesman said.

    He has been released on bail until June 29.



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