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Pope should resign, says chairman of Belgian bishops' investigating commission

October 01, 2010

The psychologist who headed an independent commission investigating sex-abuse charges for the Belgian bishops has said that Pope Benedict XVI should resign to “set an example” of accountability in the Church.

Peter Adriaenssens told the daily De Morgen that the Pope “should not content himself with just expressing regret.” It would be better, he said, if the Pope took dramatic action to show that “one person is taking responsibility.”

Noting that the sex-abuse crisis has been a worldwide problem, Adriaenssens reasoned that the Pope should accept ultimate responsibility for the problem.

Adriaenssens and the other members of the Belgian investigating commission, which had been created by the Belgian bishops, resigned after a police raid in which all their confidential files were seized by prosecutors. After a court decision requiring authorities to return the files, the commission presented its final report on September 10, disclosing that almost 500 people had reported abuse by Catholic priests in Begium.


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  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2010 2:09 PM ET USA

    I understand most of the exposed abuse cases occurred between 1960 and 1980. Neither John Paul II nor Pope Benedict were anywhere near the papacy until John Paul's election in 1978. How would blaming either of THEM help anything? Come on, guys, we know you loathe some of the Church's teachings and would like to eliminate the See of Peter, if possible. We aren't changing the Church to satisfy your..ideas.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 02, 2010 1:07 PM ET USA

    As the Church Lady used to say, "How convenient!" Try again, Dr. Adriannsens, and start addressing how the Church in Belgium can face up to its own problems, and stop passing the blame to the rest of the world.

  • Posted by: Guest6455 - Oct. 02, 2010 11:25 AM ET USA

    If a Pope must resign for each problem of some members that exist in many countries, we cannot have a Pope until people are practically perfect. Personal responsibility or “Do what is wrong and make the Pope resign”??????

  • Posted by: voxfem - Oct. 01, 2010 10:56 PM ET USA

    Since Pope Benedict wasn't directly involved, does that mean that whoever is currently in charge of the Church should resign? Should the next Pope resign as soon as he's elected? How many men do we need to go through until Mr. Adriaenssens is satisfied?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2010 10:32 PM ET USA

    Apparently, the investigator was unaware that Pope John Paul II has died. (This all happened under his watch--despite his many wonderful qualities.)

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Oct. 01, 2010 12:19 PM ET USA

    This is absolute nonsense. This individual cannot be a serious investigator. Such a move would be symbolism over substance.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2010 12:05 PM ET USA

    I should thing it would suffice for the purpose of drama if the psychologist were to resign and vow never to serve again on any Church commision.

  • Posted by: Saint Jimbob of the Apokalypse - Oct. 01, 2010 11:35 AM ET USA

    Considering that the abuse and the cover-ups happened long before Ratzinger was made Pope, how would that really accomplish anything?