Suspended Dutch Salesian priest member of pedophile promotion group

Herman Poronck, head of the Dutch Salesian order of priests, confirmed on Saturday that a Salesian priest served on the board of an organisation that promotes pedophilia.

Widely reviled, but not outlawed, the “Martijn” association advocates the acceptance of pedophilia and the legalisation of sexual relationships between adults and children.

According to RTL Nieuws, which broke the story, the priest, referred to as Father Van B, served on the Martijn board from 2008 – 2010, and is of the view that the relationships promoted by Martijn are not harmful.

Spronck distanced the Order from Father Van B’s “personal initiative”.

“Membership in such organisations does not fit with the ethos of the Salesian order.”

However RTL Nieuws quoted Spronck as saying “formally I always say that everyone must obey the law. But these relationships do not necessarily have to be damaging.”

Neither Spronck nor the Salesian order could be reached for comment. According to its website, the Dutch arm of the Salesians has 14 employees and 400 volunteers and aims to help poor children.

The Dutch Catholic Church is also investigating claims that Father Van B had two convictions for exposing himself to children.

Despite being suspended from ministry, Van B was still able to work as a volunteer for various church organisations, including helping children prepare for first holy communion.

Church spokesman Pieter Kohnen labelled the case as “unbelievable”.


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