After the (now seemingly debunked) accusations against Bishop Jo Gijsen, emeritus of Roermond and Reykjavik, there are now new accusations of sexual abuse against another bishop. They centre around seven religious of the order of the Salesians of Don Bosco, one of whom would later become bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch: Msgr. Joannes Ter Schure (ordinary from 1985 to 1998).
The victim of the abuse wrote two letters to Bishop Ad van Luyn of Rotterdam, chairman of the Dutch Bishops’ Conference and, between 1975 to 1981, provincial of the Salesians in the Netherlands, in 2008. The abuse case dates back to the late 1940s.
A spokesperson for Bishop van Luyn says:”The bishop of Rotterdam replied to the victim with the advice to contact the congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The bishop later also contacted the provincial of the Salesians himself, with the request to contact the victim.”
The Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch issued the following press release:
“Bishop Hurkmans of ‘s-Hertogenbosch responds with shock to the news of the involvement of Msgr. J. Ter Schure in a case of sexual abuse. The bishop informed the Holy See in Rome via de Pontifical Nuncio in The Hague this afternoon. Until now, the diocese of Den Bosch was not aware of the case. Ter Schure was bishop of Den Bosch from 1985 to 1998.
Jan Ter Schure was born on 21 June 1922 in Steenwijkerwold (Overijssel) and entered the Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco on 16 August 1843. He was ordained a priest on 1 July 1951. After his ordination he worked as economist for his congregation and from 1961 to 1965 as provincial of the Dutch Church province. In 1965 he went to Turin in 1972 to Rome as member of the general provincialate of his order. In 178 he returned to the Netherlands and was consecrated to bishop on 1 December 1984 by Bishop Gijsen of Roermond. On 2 February 1985 Romer appointed him bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. That appointment lasted until 1998.”