More than half of all Catholic Cardinals and Bishops in the Netherlands over more than five decades concealed the sexual abuse of children at the hands of priests.
Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, reported earlier that 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and auxiliary bishops were involved in abuse cases in the Catholic Church between 1945 and 2010.
A spokesman for the Church confirmed the report.
Allegations of child abuse had been investigated in 2010 and 2011 by a commission set up by the Church under the direction of a former Dutch minister.
The NRC report, compiled from the files of the commission inquiry and the newspaper’s own research, found that four bishops abused children themselves, while 16 other high-ranking clergy protected paedophile priests from prosecution by transferring them.
All of the cases are past the statute of limitations.
The Dutch victims’ organisation VPKK called on Monday for a new official investigation.