Catholic priests and other church workers who have sexually abused someone can now ‘confess’ their sins online, Trouw reports on Friday.
Church abuse victims’ organisation Klokk has developed a ‘digital confession booth’ which priests can use to tell their stories.
However, there is no forgiveness for those who do, and the statements can be used to make complaints against the church, the paper points out.
The confessional, on the Klokk website, consists of a series of simple multiple choice questions and ends by asking if the events are real or imaginary.
Klokk spokesman Guido Klabbers told the paper the digital confessional is a ‘low threshold’ way for church workers to come clean.
Klabbers says he expects a few thousand abuse cases have still not been reported and hopes victims and witnesses will also be encouraged to come forward. The confessions will not have any legal status.
‘We do expect them to make it clear who they are because we will have to be able to check their stories and identities,’ he said. ‘Anonymity does not make us any the wiser.’
The church commission which looked into abuse claims said 18 months ago that between 1945 and 1981 some 10,000 to 20,000 children were abused in Catholic schools and other institutions.
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