Belgian bishops will require abusive priests to pay victims
CWN - January 12, 2012
Belgian Catholic Church leaders have announced that priests who are guilty of abusing children will be required to pay damages to their victims.
While encouraging victims to seek judgments from civil courts, the Belgian bishops have also said that if the statute of limitations prevents the courts from taking up the cases, the Church will still require guilty clerics to pay damages.
“If the culprit is still alive, he will certainly have to day,” said Bishop Guy Harpigny of Tournai. If priests are unable to pay the damages, the Church will make up the payments.
[An AP story on the Belgian Church policy promotes the charge that the Vatican thwarted efforts by priests in Belgium and other countries to laicize priests who were guilty of abuse. That charge is misguided. While the Vatican required that accused priests be accorded due process, the bishops always had the authority to remove accused priests from ministry.]
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our Spring 2013 goal ($16,519 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!