This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Belgium hears ex-bishop Vangheluwe play down abuse

Former Belgian bishop Roger Vangheluwe has gone live on TV to talk about how he sexually abused two boys but does not see himself as a paedophile.

The Vatican has still to decide the ex-bishop's fate

Emerging from hiding, he revealed he had molested two of his nephews, and not one, as he confessed last year before resigning as bishop of Bruges.

He does not face prosecution because the abuse occurred decades ago.

"It had nothing to do with sexuality," he said, in comments that caused indignation among politicians.

Justice Minister Stefaan De Clercq said in a statement the Church authorities "had to take measures to stop the irresponsible behaviour of the former bishop".

"It is a slap in the face of his victims and all victims," the justice minister added.

The 74-year-old is believed to be living outside Belgium since being ordered to leave the country by the Vatican, which has yet to decide on his future.

A decision will be made "naturally taking into account the various aspects of this issue, starting with the suffering of the victims and the requirements of the justice system", Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP news agency earlier this week.

'Not good'
Wearing a blue smock over a black shirt, with no clerical collar showing, Fr Vangheluwe spoke to the Flemish-language VT4 channel's interviewer in a room at an undisclosed location.

"Of course I know that this was not good," he said. "I have confessed many times."

He had considered suicide but believed it to be a "cowardly act".

He described the 13 years of sexual abuse to which he had subjected one nephew from the age of five as no more than "a little piece of intimacy".

"How did it begin?" he said.

"As with all families. When they came to visit, the nephews slept with me. It began as a game with the boys. It was never a question of rape."

"I don't have the impression at all that I am a paedophile," he said. "It was really just a small relationship. I did not have the feeling that my nephew was against it, quite the contrary. It was not brutal sex."

Read on



Philippines birth control: Filipinos...

Kenneth R. Weiss - LA Times Comments

In the Philippines, access to contraceptives is limited for the most part to those with the means to pay. The Catholic Church has fought a "reproductive health bill" in the legislature that would change that.

Pope's ex-butler Paolo Gabriele to...

- - BBC News Comments

The former butler to Pope Benedict XVI will stand trial for stealing confidential papers and leaking them to the press, a magistrate has ruled.

Archbishop of Glasgow: Labour MP David...

George Eaton - NewStateman Comments

Archbishop of Glasgow: Labour MP David Cairns died because he was gay

Former Argentinian dictator says he...

Tom Hennigan - Comments

ARGENTINA’S FORMER military dictator said he kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of “disappearing” political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to “manage” the policy.

Helping victims of a College Education

Gerard Murphy - Catholic monthly... Comments

US Catholic bishops' abuse of...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops in session in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month. Photograph: Tami Chappell/Reuters



Catholic Church in anti-gay marriage...

BBC - BBC News - Scotland 97 Comments

"Governments do not have the authority to say what marriage is or to change its nature or to decree that people of the same sex can marry."

Time travel: light speed results cast...

BBC - BBC News Science & Environment 45 Comments

Physicists have confirmed the ultimate speed limit for the packets of light called photons - making time travel even less likely than thought.

Vatican recalls Irish papal envoy after...

BBC - BBC News website 54 Comments

"The fact that I have had thousands of messages from around the world speaks for itself about the impact and the way people feel," he said.

UPDATE: FALSE STORY Jerusalem rabbis...

BBC - BBC News website 154 Comments

A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges, reports say.

BBC - Everything and Nothing

BBC - Youtube - wedontknowanything 93 Comments

BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture 1996 -...

BBC - YouTube - GodTheHypothesis 47 Comments



Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment