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Belgian cardinal-designate faces questions about appointing priest convicted of abuse

October 13, 2016

Archbishop Jozef de Kesel of Brussels, who has been named by Pope Francis to be elevated to the College of Cardinals, is facing renewed criticism because of his decision to appoint a convicted child molester to a post as a parish priest.

In 2014, while serving as Bishop Bruges, the Belgian prelate appointed Father Tom Flamez, who had been found guilty of molesting a teenager in 2008, to become pastor of a parish in Middelkerke. The bishop said that Father Flamez deserved a second chance, and carried through with the appointment despite a public protest from the town’s mayor.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 15, 2016 12:28 AM ET USA

    The re-appointments of sexual predators to parish ministry was what caused the greatest scandal and damage (moral and financial) to the Church. As a Cardinal, Kesel will be the Pope's advisor and will be electing the next Pope(s). This appears to be a very poor and even scandalous choice; contradicting the Pope's own earlier declarations about those responsible for sexual abuses of minors.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 13, 2016 9:19 PM ET USA

    The only chance s molester gets is to molest again! What a disgrace!