Second dead Dutch Catholic bishop found guilty of sex abuse of minors
The Dutch Catholic Church, in the second such embarrassing admission this month, announced on Friday that a bishop who died in 2000 had been found guilty of sexually abusing boys decades ago.
Utrecht archdiocese, where Johannes Nienhaus was auxiliary bishop from 1982 to 1999, said a commission investigating the scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church in many countries in the past decade had confirmed four complaints against him.
Earlier this month, Roermond diocese said its late bishop Johannes Gijsen had sexually abused two boys, also decades ago.
The Utrecht announcement came two days before the late Pope John Paul II, whom critics accuse of failing to investigate the clerical sex abuse scandal as evidence of it piled up in the later years of his pontificate, is to be declared a saint.
The Amsterdam daily De Volkskrant, which uncovered the story, said the abuse took place from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s when Nienhaus was chaplain and later rector of a junior seminary in Apeldoorn.
In his statement, Utrecht archdiocese said Cardinal Johannes Eijk, its current archbishop, took note of the four cases reported by the abuse commission and stressed they took place before Nienhaus was a bishop.
“Cardinal Eijk is sad that this abuse occurred and hopes the determination of the complaints’ plausibility can help the healing process of the victims,” the statement said.