Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused


Following recent reports about sexual abuse of children by Dutch priests, it now appears that some nuns also took advantage of their charges. Tuesday’s edition of newspaper De Telegraaf contains the story of Herman Harends, who says he was abused by nuns at a Roman Catholic boarding school he attended in the 1950s.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide and newspaper NRC Handelsblad published their report on sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic church two weeks ago. Since then, more and people have come forward, saying they, too, were childhood victims.

Mr Harends and his two brothers attended a boarding school in the southern Dutch town of Tegelen.
“I have not spoken out before because it is a hard claim to substantiate,” he explains, “I’m not looking for atonement or apologies, most of the nuns have died.”

“The abuse by the sisters started when I was 11. When I was in the bath they played with my penis and tried to give me an erection … They would also put my hand under their robes and into their underwear.”

Mr Harends (now 63) does not believe the abuse was an isolated case. “I had dealings with two nuns who worked independently,” he tells the paper, “I can’t imagine that I, one of the hundreds of students, was the only one they used to vent their desires on.”

Mr Harends says he once tried to talk about what happened with one of his brothers. “He didn’t want to discuss it. And I respect that.”

Published on : 9 March 2010 – 12:30pm | By Britta Wielaard

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest (Bloomberg)

Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry (Times)

Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)

Benedict’s involvement ‘shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)

Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)

RIGHTS-GERMANY: ‘Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests’ (IPS)

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe (AP)

3 thoughts on “Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused”

  1. Unfortunately, physical abuse by nuns is nothing new. Hiding behind their sanctimonious image, and in a position of power over little children, nuns have been beating children, humiliating them (for example by making children who accidentally wet the bed wear their urine-soaked pajamas around their neck all day, which would not just embarrass them but subject them to ridicule and bullying, which of course the nuns did nothing about.)
    The bedwetting example is from Linton Hall Military School, in Bristow, Virginia, run by Benedictine nuns. Fortunately the school has undergone major changes (for the better) and there are very few nuns working there anymore, and the principal is now a lay person.
    Although I did not hear of any sexual abuse there, when the boys (ages 6 to 16 !!! according to the school brochure) there would be a nun watching the whole time. I am not questioning the need to supervise showers, but there were two male employees who could have done so.
    More about Linton Hall:

  2. My poor mum went through this in the 50 her horrific story was do bad but I feel she has never got any justice off want she went through any suggestion please


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