Belgian Catholic head ‘shocked’ by ex-bishop’s confession
The head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, Andre-Joseph Leonard, described as “shocking” Sunday an ex-bishop’s televised confession that he had sexually abused two of his nephews.
“It is inappropriate and shocking,” Leonard told Belgium television RTBF of Roger Vangheluwe’s “detached and vacant tone” during the interview, in which he had described “a kind of game” with one of the youngsters.
Leonard said Vangheluwe “should not have spoken”.
Vangheluwe, 74, resigned as Bishop of Bruges last year after admitting to having had sex with his underage nephew, but could not be prosecuted as the statute of limitations, the legal period within which a crime can be punished, had expired.
Last week, he again caused outraged when he gave a television interview in which he also admitted to molesting a second nephew but insisted he did not consider himself a paedophile nor a threat to children.
After the first scandal, the Vatican ordered him to seek “spiritual and psychological treatment” at a church community at La Ferte-Imbault in France, and to stay out of the public eye.