Friday 12 August 2022

Dutch Catholic church sexual abuse bill soars as hotline closes down

In total, 3,712 people have reported being victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic church to a special hotline set up in 2010 and the cost of dealing with the eight-year scandal could be as much as €60m.

Of all the reported cases to the hotline, 2,062 became official complaints and 1,002 cases were declared justified. Several hundred were not accepted because of a lack of supporting evidence, the final report from hotline officials said.

In 941 cases, the victims were given financial compensation, taking total payouts to €28.6m. Sixty-five victims who went through the most serious forms of abuse were given the maximum payout of €100,000.

According to the NRC newspaper, the real bill to the Catholic church is far higher. It says 403 victims reached secret deals with the church authorities, and received an estimated €12.8m in compensation.

In addition, the paper says the cost of all the research and running the hotline reached over €17m. It estimates the total bill to be over €60m.

The hotline Misbruik RKK will close down on January 1 next year. The deadline for closure had been postponed several times because reports continued to be made.

800 priests and monks

At least 800 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 Deetman, said.

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. A number of cases have been taken to court.

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