Dutch Catholic abuse probe calls offenders to come forward

May 7, 2010
Wim Deetman

Wim Deetman

The head of a commission asked by the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands to look into allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests said on Friday a year-long investigation was needed and appealed for offenders to come forward.

“From a moral, religious point of view, in the framework of the Roman Catholic Church, it is wise to come to the forefront and say what you have done,” said Wim Deetman, who was asked by the Church in March to lead a preliminary inquiry in response to an increasing number of victims coming forward.

“It will be helpful for the commission to establish how broad it has been, not to hear just from the victims but also from the offenders,” he added. The number of calls to a Dutch hotline for victims of abuse has risen to 1,500 since early March, and 52 formal complaints about abuse have been made.

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