Friday, April 23, 2010

Widespread Systematic Sexual Abuse?

Belgian bishop quits over sex abuse


A Belgian bishop has resigned after admitting he sexually abused a young boy more than two decades ago.Roger Vangheluwe, 73, is the first bishop to have been directly implicated in a church since a string of abuse cases and subsequent cover-ups began to emerge last year.

In a statement released on Friday the Bishop of Bruges said: "When I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop, I sexually abused a young man in my close entourage.

"This has marked the victim forever. The wound does not heal. Neither in me nor the victim, he said, adding that had asked for forgiveness and was "enormously sorry".

Pope Benedict XVI accepted Vangheluwe's resignation, under a canon law provision for "illness" or unspecified "other serious reasons", the Vatican said.

'Culture of secrecy'

A number of other bishops have resigned since scandals involving catholic priests began sweeping Europe and the Americas last November. More...