Last year, Dutch missionary bishop Cor Schilder, formerly of Kenya’s Diocese of Ngong, was at the heart of the publication of accusations of sexual abuse, leveled against him in 2009. That matter was then settled between the Holy See, the Society of Mill Hill Missionaries, to which Bishop Schilder belongs), and Michael Ole Uka, the victim. Said victims lodged no official complaint with the secular authorities, so no legal process was started.
But Uka’s story, as such stories have the potential to, gave another man, Emmanuel Shikuku, the courage to come forward with his story. The details may be found on various media websites, but come down to Shikuku claiming to have been abused by five clerics, one of whom is said to have been Bishop Schilder, who now resides in a Mill Hill house in the Netherlands, having been removed from his position following the earlier accusations.
The case came to the attention of Interpol via the Irish police, who informed authorities in the UK and the Netherlands. Much detail is still unknown, as the investigation of the case is still in early stages. An Interpol spokesman says that some information may even be kept secret by the Public Prosecutor for ‘tactical reasons’.
And since much is unknown, it is hard to conclude anything about what may or may not have happened. It is certainly not unheard of that victims of sexual abuse take courage from the stories of other victims and then come forward. That is also, I think, evident in the large number of abuse claims that were made in the Netherlands in the past year, although there are also, sadly, many fake claims among them, of course.
Whether Mr. Shikuku’s belongs to the former or the latter category remains to be seen. Things, at the moment, certainly do not look positive for the 70-year-old Bishop Cor Schilder.