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Martyred bishop should be patron saint of abuse victims: Church

Published on Jan 6, 2014 9:25 PM

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A Dutch Catholic bishop burned alive in 1937 by Japanese troops for protecting Chinese girls from rape may become the patron saint of sex abuse victims worldwide.

Frans Wiertz, who is bishop of Roermond in the south-eastern Netherlands, has sent a dossier to the Vatican requesting martyred bishop Frans Schraven be beatified, one step away from becoming a saint, the bishopric said on its website on Monday.

Bishop Wiertz "suggests that he be considered as the patron saint of victims of sexual abuse", it said.

Dutch-born Schraven was killed in October 1937 in Zhengding, 260km south of Beijing, for not handing over Chinese girls the invading Japanese army wanted to turn into sex slaves also known as "comfort women".

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