CHILD ABUSE: Belgian Church wants abusers to compensate victims

Summary: Over the past two years, over 500 witnesses have come forward with accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy, spanning several decades.

[12 January 2012] - Belgium's Catholic Church says that priests and clergy who abused children will be required to pay damages, even if victims make their claims after the country's statute of limitations has expired.

In an overall response on how to deal with the abuse scandals that have enveloped the church, it urged victims on Thursday to take their case to civil authorities first.

But the church also said it is willing to impose penalties ranging from apologies to financial compensation for recent cases and those so old they can no longer result in court cases.

Bishop Guy Harpigny says the church will keep abusers within the fold but make sure they no longer hold positions of authority or contact with the outside world.

Over the past two years, over 500 witnesses have come forward with accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy, spanning several decades.

 

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pdf: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/belgian-church-abusers-pay...

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