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February 11, 2021By Catholic News ServiceCatholic News ServiceFiled Under: Feature, News, World News

ROME (CNS) — The global Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need sassist it discovered “very plausible” the insurance claim of a former employee that the late Norbertine Father Werenfried van Straaten, founder of the charity, had sexually attacked her in the 1970s.

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The charity, which supports Christians enduring under persecution or extreme poverty, shown in a statement Feb. 10 that the victim came forward with the allegation in 2010 and that preparations for a sainthood cause for Father van Straaten quit at the time.

“The management of the charity took the accusation very seriously. It automatically sought out the perboy involved and, in a personal meeting, listened to her. Her portrayal of the event seemed very plausible,” Aid to the Church in Need said in the statement published after Christ und Welt,a supplement of the newspaper Die Zeit, reported the charity had passist the woman 16,000 euros ($19,500).

Aid to the Church in Need said the money was “a solidarity payment in order to underline its desire to acknowledge the suffering of the perboy pertained to and also to try to mitigate the consequences of the incident for this person.” It sassist 10,000 euros of the sum was “to acknowledge the suffering she had proficient,” and the continuing to be 6,000 euros wregarding meet pension claims from the time she was an employee.

Father van Straaten passed away in 2003 at the age of 90 after years devoted to helping persecuted Christians, specifically in Eastern Europe.

While Aid to the Church in Need did not make the woman’s accusations public at the moment, the charity shelp it did increate the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, the president of the German bishops’ conference, the victim’s bishop and also the head of the Norbertine order.

The victim “expressed a clear wish for the confidential managing of the accusation,” Aid to the Church in Need sassist, while additionally admitting the team hoped “to proccasion damage to the reputation of the charity” and also “harm” to its occupational.

Criminal proceedings were not initiated because Father van Straaten was currently deceased.

Christ und Welt sassist the alleged attack took place throughout a expedition to Italy in 1973. Father van Straaten was 60 at the time and the woguy was component of the Aid to the Church in Need delegation traveling via him.

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Pope Benedict XVI had actually appointed Auxiliary Bishop Manfred Grothe of Paderborn to investigate the charity in a visitation that took location from 2009 to 2011. According to Christ und Welt, Bishop Grothe informed the then-prefect of the Congregation for Clergy of accusations versus Father van Straaten, including sex-related harassment, “intemperance in lifestyle,” and a “susceptibility” to fascist concepts.

In its statement Feb. 10, Aid to the Church in Need sassist a testimonial of Father van Straaten’s works from the 55 years he led the charity gives “no indication of far-appropriate or fascist leanings. On the contrary, Father van Straaten condemned all dictatorships and also took a solid stance versus them.”

“The accusation of excesses in his individual way of living is based on individual reports of an excess of alcohol or food,” the statement said. “We cannot confirm this accusation from the indevelopment easily accessible to us.”

The charity said it “deeply regrets the severe allegations and condemns any sort of behavior of which Father van Straaten has been accused in the (Christ und Welt) write-up. Since 2011, decision-making and also manage frameworks have actually been put in area to protect against misconduct, abusage and also to foster a collegial working society.”