Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ex-bishop hiding

Belgian Ex-Bishop Goes Into HidingBy STEPHEN CASTLE
BRUSSELS — The former bishop at the center of a child sexual abuse scandal in Belgium announced Saturday that he would leave the Trappist monastery where he had been living and go into hiding to contemplate his future.

The former bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned in April after admitting he abused a boy, later revealed to be his nephew. The publicity surrounding the case prompted more than 200 people to come forward in a matter of days with accounts of abuse by priests, with cases stretching back several decades.

In a statement released Saturday, Mr. Vangheluwe again admitted guilt and asked for forgiveness.

“My remorse has increased now that I see how much evil happened, partly because of me,” he said in the statement, posted on the Web site of the Roman Catholic Church in Flanders. He said he would reflect on his future “somewhere hidden, outside the diocese of Bruges.”

There have been no legal charges against the former bishop because the abuse took place more than 10 years ago and is beyond the statute of limitations.

Since his resignation Mr. Vangheluwe has been living in the Abbey of St. Sixtus in Westvleteren.

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