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Belgians scandalized by archbishop's remarks on abuse: cardinal’s spokesman

December 31, 2010

Toon Osaer, the spokesman for Cardinal Godfried Danneels, says that the “vast majority of people” are “quite scandalized” by Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard’s December 22 testimony on clerical abuse before a legislative commission.

Archbishop Léonard-- who succeeded Cardinal Danneels as Archbishop of Malines-Brussels in February-- testified that “he feared the consequences of compensating victims, because payments could also be demanded for ‘unhappy children born via artificial insemination’ or facing the ‘psychological impact’ of being raised by same-sex couples,” according to journalist Jonathan Luxmoore.

“His point was that the people who committed offenses should first be investigated and brought to court-- only then, if the courts won't provide satisfactory compensation, should the church see what it can do for them,” said Osaer. “As in all such cases, some people have supported and some have opposed him, so the bishops will be meeting next week to discuss further steps, as well as to set out the agenda for a new church center for recognition, healing and reconciliation.”


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