‘No Belgian church escaped sex abuse’, finds investigation

From The Telegraph:

Investigators, working with the support of the Belgian Catholic Church received 475 complaints of child abuse committed in the 1950s through to the late 1980s by Catholic clergy.

“We can say that no congregation escapes sexual abuse of minors by one or several of its members,” the commission concluded.

The 200-page report, published on Friday, contains testimonies from some 124 anonymous victims, revealing that abuse for most began at the age of 12.

It noted a “high number of suicides” with 13 deaths and six attempts attributed to “sexual abuse by a cleric”.

“We are talking here about anal and oral abuse, forced and mutual masturbation,” said Peter Adriaenssens, the psychiatric specialist in paedophilia who chaired the commission.

“None of us was prepared for the severity of some of the accounts of abuse that we were given. All of us at one time questioned our faith in God, the Church and humanity.”