Please, God, let it not be true

Bishop Gijsen as head of the Roermond diocese

Bishop Jo Gijsen, emeritus of the Dioceses of Roermond (1972-1993) and Reykjavik (1996-2007), is being accused of sexual abuse, it became known today. A former student at the Rolduc seminary lodged the complaint which states that Bishop Gijsen, then a teacher there, would peek at the student in his bed, while the latter was masturbating. Bishop Gijsen denies the accusation, which relates to the period between 1959 and 1961.

He states: “If it is true what is being said, it must be a case of mistaken identity. I could not have been that, because I wasn’t in the situation. That they may know me could be true, because I was a teacher. But I could not have done that.” What Bishop Gijsen means with ‘not having been in the situation’ remains to be seen. At the moment the complaint, which was lodged in May, is being investigated by Hulp en Recht.

Bishop Gijsen further says he received two letters from Hulp en Recht, informing him of the accusation against him. “I received the last letter at the end of July or beginning of August. I am not under the impression that any more is forthcoming from Hulp en Recht, or that there is anything I need to do now.”

I find myself fervently hoping the accusation is unfounded. We do not need a Dutch version of the Vangheluwe mess. Please let Bishop Gijsen, Hulp en Recht, the alleged victim and all other parties involved be as open and honest as they possible can. Don’t let them sit back and wait, but let them take action to dig out the truth as soon as possible, even, and especially, if it doesn’t fit the agenda of the secular media. I hope it doesn’t fit that agenda.


The Diocese of Roermond announces that, following today’s news reports, it has been familiar with the accusation against Emeritus Bishop Gijsen. Bishop Frans Wiertz, who succeeded Bishop Gijsen in 1993, has informed the Public Prosecutor immediately, as is policy. Since the accusations concern a bishop, the papal Nuncio has also been informed.



9 thoughts on “Please, God, let it not be true”

    1. Ah, but that’s normal now, isn’t it? To the vast majority of people it is, at least.

      I’ve been involved in a short discussion about that topic earlier today, by the way. While it is rather oddly revealing, to say the least, it’s not the most serious element of the entire story. Not yet, at least.

      1. I’m not sure what you mean, but these are accusation that go back fifty years. The bishop is now retired, so there certainly is no ‘going on’. The person who lodged the complaint said the bishop would peek while he was a teacher at the seminary. As far as I can judge from what others write, there is very little, if any, evidence that would prove the claim true.

  1. Something struck me at some random moment today.

    states that Bishop Gijsen, then a teacher there, would peek at the student in his bed, while the latter was masturbating. Perhaps he wasn’t peeking, but noticed something, guessed what was going on, and was merely letting him see that he was being watched, so he’d stop. A silent reprimand, sort of thing.

    Or he suspected something but didn’t want to say without being sure (this has happened to me with a friend’s abusive husband – you are sure there’s something wrong, but you have no evidence).

    Anyway, it crossed my mind at, as I said, some random moment today, that the way the complaint is phrased seems to suggest something like that.

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