Wednesday 23 June 2021

Catholic church finally admits bishop abused boys

The Catholic church in Roermond has finally admitted a former bishop abused two boys, despite denying the abuse claims for years.

Jo Gijsen, who died last year, was bishop of Roermond from 1972 to 1993. He then moved to Austria and Iceland, before returning to the Netherlands in 2007.

A Dutch Catholic church committee investigating abuse claims has now decided two complaints against Gijsen were proven.

Gijsen, a traditional and controversial bishop, set up his own seminary in Kerkrade named Rolduc, which was described as both ‘closed’ and ‘a feeding ground for homosexual relations’ by the Volkskrant newspaper.

Mea Culpa, a Dutch organisation set up to support victims of church abuse, welcomed the admission that Gijsen was guilty of abuse. However, it is shocking that he was able to become a bishop when it was known he had previously abused children, the organisation said.

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