Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Belgian bishop wants more Vatican action against abusive prelate

Catholic World News - September 15, 2010

A Belgian bishop has questioned why the Vatican has not taken stronger disciplinary action against a bishop who admitted to sexual abuse.

Bishop Guy Harpigny of Tournai, the chief spokesman for the Belgian hierarchy on sex-abuse issues, asked why Bishop Roger Vangheluwe has been allowed to go into hiding, without answering to the Holy See for his admitted years of abuse. “Vangheluwe has chosen his own punishment and the Vatican does nothing,” Bishop Harpigny complained.

The Belgian prelate expressed the view that Bishop Vangheluwe should be laicized. But in any case the disgraced bishop should be disciplined, he said. “I would prefer a trial by the church authorities. This would be more honest. But any signal would be a good one," he said.

Bishop Harpigny also conceded that Belgian Church leaders had been slow to admit the sex-abuse problem, because an open discussion of the issue might open the Church to legal claims. “If you officially apologize, then you are acknowledging moral and legal responsibility,” he said. “Then there are people who ask for money and we don’t know what lawyers and the courts will do about that.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

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 seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($20,938 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,061.98
60% 40%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

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!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: scullyjr9118 - Sep. 15, 2010 7:31 PM ET USA

    To paraphrase his Excellency's comments: 'Yeah, the rest of us were wrong, but he was wronger.' And: 'Hey, don't look at me, man, that guy confessed!' I mean, I really don't blame this guy. It's hard to overcome the perception of being pathetic. He and his Eminence Danneels should host a talk show.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Difficult Decisions in the Real World 16 hours ago
The real reason why divorced/remarried German Catholics are leaving the Church 17 hours ago
An unexpected surge in confessions? August 21
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching August 21
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action August 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8