Vatican charity in spotlight over old sex assault allegation



The Koenigstein, Germany-based charity posted an announcement and a 26-point query and reply notice on its web site Wednesday after German newspaper Die Zeit reported on the allegations, that are the newest in a string of sexual misconduct claims in opposition to charismatic founders of Vatican-sanctioned spiritual orders, actions and Catholic charities.

Assist to the Church in Want mentioned it paid the girl 10,000 euros ($12,000) for her struggling, plus 6,000 euros ($,7269) for her pension, after figuring out that her allegations in regards to the 1973 assault “appeared very believable.” She was 23 years outdated on the time.

The charity, which van Straaten based in 1947, mentioned the claims have been reported to the Vatican, which discovered no different comparable claims in opposition to the priest and that no prison prosecution occurred as a result of he had died.

Assist to the Church in Want is now a Vatican-sanctioned pontifical basis that works particularly in locations the place Christians are persecuted. In 2019, it raised some 106.three million euros ($129 million) to help a number of the greater than 5,000 initiatives it operates all over the world.

In recent times, it has been notably lively within the Center East, serving to Christian communities rebuild after being focused by Islamic extremists.

The case involving the previous worker was saved below wraps till Die Zeit this week reported on a Nov. 23, 2010 letter penned by a Vatican-appointed investigator who had been despatched to look into organizational and administration issues within the charity as a part of a reorganization plan.

The investigator, Bishop Manfred Grothe, wasn’t tasked with investigating the late founder, however was so alarmed by what he realized that he alerted the Vatican in hopes of placing an finish to the nascent marketing campaign to beatify van Straaten, step one to potential sainthood.


Die Zeit, which mentioned it had seen the letter, mentioned Grothe recognized 4 issues of Catholic morality involving van Straaten’s life, together with “an try of sexual violence, exorbitance within the conduct of life, substantial deficits in private conduct and a disposition towards fascist concepts.”

Grothe advisable in opposition to any monetary payout to the girl, noting that van Straaten had paid her father 800,000 Belgian francs, or about 20,000 euros. In its response Wednesday, the charity mentioned the cost was made within the mid-1970s and anxious “unfair remedy” the daddy endured when he left his job at Assist to the Church in Want. It mentioned the cash was unrelated to the assault suffered by the person’s daughter, who additionally labored on the charity.

Assist to the Church in Want mentioned there have been definitely issues in van Straaten’s administration model and that the allegations of excesses in his private life concerned alcohol and meals. It mentioned it saved the allegations in opposition to him quiet as a result of the girl requested confidentiality.

The charity additionally mentioned it had no proof of any fascist leanings in van Straaten’s writings. Nevertheless it famous that it had by no means backed his beatification trigger and mentioned it by no means will.

Because of Grothe’s report, the charity launched into an organizational overhaul and mentioned it put in place fashionable administration, management and oversight our bodies, in addition to safeguarding mechanisms in 2019.

AP author David Rising contributed from Berlin.

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