AMSTERDAM — The head of a Catholic religious order in the Netherlands has confirmed one of his subordinate priests served on the board of an organization that promotes pedophilia.
Herman Spronck, head of the Dutch arm of the Salesian order, said in a statement yesterday that the priest served on the board of the “Martijn’’ organization, which is widely reviled but not illegal.
“Of course we reject this and distance ourselves from this personal initiative’’ of the priest, Spronck’s statement said.
However, RTL Nieuws, which broke the story, published interviews both with Spronck and the priest, identified as 73-year-old “Father Van B.,’’ in which they defend some pedophile relationships.
“Society thinks these relationships are harmful. I disagree,’’ RTL quoted Van B. as saying. Spronck was quoted as saying “these relationships do not necessarily have to be damaging.’’