Belgian man alleges sexual abuse by nuns at foster home

Belgium's Roman Catholic Church has been repeatedly damaged by reports of sexual abuse.

Belgian man alleges sexual abuse by nuns at foster home

A Belgian foster home asked potential victims of sexual abuse to come forward on Monday after a man said nuns had abused him there as a child in the 1960s.

The anonymous Belgian, now in his fifties, told local media on Monday that he was abused by nuns for several years from the age of five while he lived at the Stella Maris home in the town of Kortrijk, western Flanders.

Belgium's Roman Catholic Church has been repeatedly damaged by reports of sexual abuse, part of a wider scandal which has shaken the Church and set off protests around the world.

The management of Stella Maris said it was aware of other allegations of abuse that occurred in the 1990s and asked possible other victims to come forward.

The news has "shocked" the staff, the home said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "We have sent a letter to the parents of the children at Stella Maris asking everybody to make public any facts they are aware of.

"We hope the truth will come out and we will pass on all the information that the authorities require."

The police said they could not comment on whether anyone had registered a complaint of sexual abuse.

The man described to Belgian radio graphic abuse by several nuns from 1965 to 1970 and said the memories still haunted him. Reports of child abuse elsewhere had finally given him the courage to come forward, he added.

Elsewhere in Belgium, the former bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, admitted last year to sexually abusing his nephew while a priest in the 1980s.

A church commission has looked into nearly 500 cases of abuse, and said last September that at least 13 people had committed suicide as a result of what they suffered.

In the 1960s, the Stella Maris home was operated by the Verrue order of nuns, which later merged with the Sisters of the Faith.


Reuters

Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2011, 10:56
Add Comment