Catholic church cardinal Wim Eijk has made a call in the Telegraaf for people to come clean about the sexual abuse of children by church officials.
Eijk made the appeal two years after the publication of a major
report into abuse in Catholic institutions.
The cardinal noted in his
appeal that a quarter of all ongoing and finalised cases were abandoned
because of a lack of evidence.
Abuse victims’ organisation Klokk said the appeal was brave and
historic because it ‘announced the end of the culture of silence’.
After July 1 no more complaints can be submitted in cases which are
too old in Dutch law or which are against people who have died, Nos
‘The bell has to ring for the final round at some point,’ Eijk told the paper.
At least 800 Roman Catholic priests and monks were involved in
abusing children in their care between 1945 and 1985, according to a
comprehensive report into the church sexual abuse scandal published on
December 16, 2011.
In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were aware of
what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the
commission, led by former Christian Democratic party chairman Wim
The commission was set up by the Catholic church in March 2010 after
the sexual abuse scandal broke in the Netherlands and hundreds of
victims came forward.
Over 2,000 people registered their abuse with the
authorities and a number of cases have been taken to court.