Belgium uncovers its own Spotlight paedophile scandal

by Ivano Abbadessa - 2016.02.23

In Belgium, more than 1,000 people have reported sexual abuse committed by priests between 2012 and 2015. It's just one of the striking findings of a report presented in Brussels by an inter-diocese Commission for sexual abuse in the Church. The victims were mainly children with 89 per cent still classed as juveniles at the time. Almost one-quarter (23 per cent) were under 10 and 71 per cent were male. They were abused by dozens of paedophile priests. Although 80 per cent of cases took place more than 30 years ago, the horror suffered by the victims leaves an indelible mark that often drives them to alcohol, drugs and, in extreme cases, even suicide. This European scandal is a close-to-home reminder of the American abuse cases, uncovered as part of the 'Spotlight Investigation'. Now an Oscar-nominated film just out in Italian cinemas, Spotlight tells the story of the Boston Globe reporters who, in 2002, revealed the abuse perpetrated in the US Church, which for years hid the most serious acts of paedophilia by clergy.

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