A leading Catholic bishop in the Netherlands has called for an independent investigation into the sexual abuse of children by priests after 200 alleged victims contacted help services last week.
What started as allegations of repeated incidents within a single cloister last month has quickly spread, and the Church victims’ support organization Hulp en Recht has now received 200 complaints.
Rotterdam Bishop Ad van Luyn has apologized to victims and called for an independent investigation. Leading political parties have echoed those calls.
Bishop Van Luyn on Monday summoned a meeting of Dutch bishops to discuss abuse.
Previous cases have been publicized in the Netherlands, as in other countries, but the Dutch Justice Ministry has so far addressed them individually.