Inquiry: Thousands abused in Catholic institutions

December 16, 2011 - 5:36 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A damning report says thousands of children suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions, and church officials "failed to adequately deal with" the abuse or help the victims.

The report by an independent commission says Catholic officials failed to tackle the widespread abuse "to prevent scandals."

The commission said Friday it received some 1,800 reports of abuse at Catholic schools, seminaries and orphanages and says the institutions suffered from "a failure of oversight."

Based on a survey of more than 34,000 people, the commission estimated that one in 10 Dutch children suffered some form of abuse. The number doubled to 20 percent of children who spent some of their youth in a Catholic institution.