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Belgium Church spokesman quits, rips archbishop

November 02, 2010

A spokesman for Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has resigned, describing the prelate as a “loose cannon.”

Archbishop Leonard had come under heavy fire for suggesting that AIDS could be regarded as a sort of “immanent justice” for active homosexuals who engaged in unhealthy acts. The public uproar against that statement increased last week when the archbishop said that it would serve no purpose to take disciplinary action against elderly retired priests who have been accused of abuse.

Juergen Mettepenningen held a news conference to announce his exit, issuing a scathing critique of the archbishop and blaming him for recent public-relations debacles. “I was his GPS for three months,” the outgoing spokesman said. “But it is the driver who has his hands on the wheel and sets the course.”

The AP coverage of Mettepenningen’s resignation is a masterpiece of slanted journalism, referring to Archbishop Leonard as “ultraconservative,” claiming that he sympathizes with abusive priests, and reporting that “mainstream Catholic organizations” disagree with the prelate.


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  • Posted by: kmbold - Nov. 02, 2010 6:35 PM ET USA

    "Take thy pen and write...that I never knew the man..."

  • Posted by: skladach - Nov. 02, 2010 4:19 PM ET USA

    I beg your pardon, Monsieur Mettepenningen? Your Archbishop taught philosophy at university for years, published many books, headed a smaller diocese for almost a decade, increased the number of priests there, and had his own radio program. Hardly a bumbling speaker. Hmmm. Maybe, Monsieur could now run for mayor of Malines....