Sunday, 17 November 2013 - 07:00
NL Sorry For Downplaying Priest Sex Abuse Cases
The Prosecutor’s Office may have dealt with a bias with cases between against Catholic priests who sexually abused children, prompting an apology from Safety and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten (VVD). “An excuse is in order,” Opstelten said on Thursday, during a Second Chamber debate that looked at how the Prosecutor’s Office handled these cases between 1945 and 1980. Catharinakerk, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht (Photo: Michele Ahin/Wikimedia) It was revealed during the meeting that some Catholic priests who sexually abused children in those days received less punishment than others. The Prosecutor’s Office and the church were in regular contact, which may have been why some priests received lower punishments. “Let there be no misunderstanding; class justice is unacceptable now, but it was also unacceptable back then. I regret the way things were handled; it was different times then, but it is still unacceptable and apologies are in order,” said Opstelten. He said the individual victims would also be contacted directly. Several members of the Second Chamber had called for an apology during the debate, placing blame on the Prosecutor’s Office and hinting that asking forgiveness would help in the healing process.