Paedophilia complaints ‘unpunished’


Belgian bishops have failed to punish any clergy over 300 complaints of paedophilia brought to their attention in the 1990s, claims a priest who helped many victims. ”We brought forward between 1992 and 1998 more than 300 complaints from victims of abuse committed by priests, but only 15 ended up with admissions” of guilt, Father Rick Deville told the Flemish dailies De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad yesterday. ”A priest accused would most often be moved, but was never punished,” he complained. Founder of the group Human Rights in the Church, which defends victims of abuse, the 65-year-old Father Deville deplored the lack of support from the Belgian Catholic hierarchy. ”Very few bishops helped us,” he said. In most cases the victims were told that their actions were ”unfortunately banned”. In some cases the victims themselves were accused of defamation, he said.

See:; Letters: Facts should be sacred in reports on Pope;

Semantics over church abuse doesn’t lessen crime
Henk Verhoeven (Letters, April 12) stretches credulity in trying to redefine child rape to lessen the horror of the Catholic Church’s abuse of children. He is also incorrect in saying that only six credible allegations were made against 40,000 priests in the United States. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is indeed non-Catholic, but the report it tabled in 2004 was commissioned by the Catholic Church. Based on surveys by the US dioceses themselves, more than 10,000 people made allegations against nearly 4400 priests between 1950 and 2002. More than two-thirds of these allegation were made since 1993 and more than 70 per cent involved children aged 14 or under. Just over 1000 were investigated by the police and nearly 400 were charged, resulting in more than 250 convictions. The remaining 3400 priests? They were never investigated because they had died. One might wonder what their God had to say to them when they finally met their maker. Ian Matthews; Bondi
More Letters:
Christianity, Belgium, Pedophilia