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Hong Kong church reveals child abuse cases

Three Catholic priests in Hong Kong were found guilty in internal Church hearings of sexually abusing children in their care, but none of the cases was handed to the police, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday.

The paper quoted Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung, the head of the church in the territory, as saying the three cases had taken place over the past 27 years.

But he did not go into detail about the actual incidents, the latest in a growing list of sexual abuse reports around the world which have shaken the Roman Catholic Church to its foundations.

Cardinal Wu was quoted as saying the church had dismissed one of the priests, suspended the second from conducting religious rites, and assigned the third to another branch of the church where he would have no contact with children.

"The three offenders were required to do penance, undergo a spiritual renewal and receive counselling and psychiatric and financial assistance," the paper quoted him as saying.

Families of the victims received apologies and were offered financial help from the church, the paper said.

Hong Kong, which has a population of nearly seven million people, has around 250,000 Catholics and about 300 Catholic priests.

Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong


3 May 2002