Sunday 18 April 2021

Old Catholic church suspends second pastor after abuse claims

The Old Catholic church in the Netherlands has suspended a second pastor involved in a child abuse scandal, this time involving a retired priest who abused a young teenage boy in the 1970s.

Earlier this month the church suspended a pastor who was arrested in Cambodia and charged with taking photographs of boys and possessing child pornography. It later transpired church officials were aware of his sexual tendencies but allowed him to continue as a priest on condition he was monitored closely.

In the new case, a 58-year-old social worker from Amsterdam told the Volkskrant that he had been groomed and abused by the pastor while under his care. Despite his complaint against the man, first made two years ago, the pastor was not suspended. Instead he was banned from having contact with children.

Bishop Dirk-Jan Schoon has now announced the church recognises not enough was done about the complaint two years ago and that the pastor has now been suspended. Schoon also urged other victims to come forward.

The term Old Catholic church dates from the 1850s when it was used by groups which did not agree with the Roman Catholic church.

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