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Belgian cardinal admits he should have demanded resignation of abuser-bishop

September 08, 2010

Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels conceded that he had made mistakes in his handling of sex-abuse allegations, and should have demanded the immediate resignation of a bishop who had molested a boy.

In an interview published by La Libre Belgique the retired Archbishop of Brussels admitted that he had made “an enormous error” by agreeing to meet with the bishop’s victim. He said that Bishop Roger Vangheluwe had asked him to meet with the victim and his family, without explaining the situation.

When he learned that the bishop had molested the young man, Cardinal Danneels said, “I should have immediately asked Msgr. Vangheluwe to offer his resignation.” He said that too often, in handling abuse cases, he had been concerned with preserving appearances rather than stopping the abuse.

The cardinal also said that he was puzzled by the fact that although the young man had been abused over a period of years, beginning more than 25 years before his meeting with the family, no one in that family had ever notified the police.


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  • Posted by: opraem - Sep. 08, 2010 8:58 PM ET USA

    another case of just in time penance. if the media hadn't exposed the abuse and cover-up it would still be going on. and the hierarchy wonder why no one believes them when they say the abuse and its cover-ups are over. who's next?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 08, 2010 6:07 PM ET USA

    Confession-after-expose' doesn't count