AMSTERDAM — A retired Dutch Roman Catholic cardinal denied allegations yesterday that he protected a pedophile priest, saying he had sent the clergyman for therapy and was unaware that he committed further abuses.
Allegations of sexual abuse in the church during Cardinal Adrianus Simonis’ tenure as archbishop of Utrecht for nearly 25 years have troubled the 79-year-old’s retirement.
Simonis has repeatedly denied knowledge of abusive behavior in the church.
Dutch media reported this week that Simonis transferred the unidentified priest after sending him for treatment in the 1990s, then took no action after hearing complaints from parents about further abuses.
Simonis said the church was aware of the priest’s history and had sent him for psychological assessment and therapy before reassigning him to the church in Amersfoort.
“The archdiocese never heard from Amersfoort about any repeat of child abuse,’’ he said.
Simonis said the first time he heard of the new allegations was when they appeared in the Dutch media on Thursday.