Belgian Bishop resigns

by Ingrid Robeyns on April 26, 2010

A Belgian Bishop, “Roger Vangheluwe”:, has resigned last Friday. He admitted that in the 1970s and 80s he has, for many years, sexually abused a young male family member (a nephew, it seems). According to the newspaper reports, last Monday a family member of the victim wrote an e-mail to all Belgian Bishops informing them about the abuse, which caused Vangheluwe to “publicly confess”: and to resign.

“According”: “to”: Peter Adriaenssens, a professor in pediatric psychiatry, who is heading a Commission that is investigating the accusations of sexual abuse in the Belgian Catholic Church, this case has triggered about 40 complaints to the Commission of other cases of sexual abuse in the Church since Friday evening. In the last two years there had been about twenty complaints.

Wondering what more will emerge. In Belgium a very large percentage of the population (officially more than 90%) is Catholic; but as I know from personal experience, this need not mean anything. In many cases it is social conformity, or (in the past, at least) primarily an admission ticket to a good school. Any Belgian who thinks this is a good moment to officially quit the Church, can find instructions on how to do so “here”: