Sunday, October 31, 2010

Norwegian Catholic Church
The Norwegian Catholic Church says it has received reports of 20 new cases of sexual abuse by former priests.

Church pews (Illustration photo)
Photo: Rainer Ebert/Flickr

All the attacks, including eight on small children, stretch back as far as 60 years and range from abusing young boys to sexual misconduct.

Rønnaug Aaberg Andersen, head of the Church’s professional advisory committee, says she is shocked by the news.

“I am deeply affected by all these atrocities committed against young children by these old priests,” she tells NRK.

The revelations are just part of a series of incidents that have rocked the Church in just six months since Georg Müller, now disgraced former Bishop-prelate of Trondheim, admitted to sexually molesting an underage altar boy over 20 years ago.

Just the beginning
Though Müller’s case was eventually dropped, the Catholic Church has been keen to investigate if there have been any more cases.

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig, who remained silent at the time of the Müller scandal despite threats by Minister of Justice Knut Storberget to imprison priests who refused to comply says “there have been much fewer incidents of assault than [we] feared.”

However, Elisabeth Torp, head of the board of the Norwegian Church’s Resource Centre against Violence and Sexual Assault, believes the number of unreported cases could be higher.

“There is no doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg,” she says.

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