Belgian Bishop Says Vatican Has Snubbed Pleas To Defrock Pedophile Ex-Colleague

A prominent Belgian bishop on Sept. 27 criticized the Vatican for failing to defrock a former bishop who admitted sexually abusing children, saying it had led to massive frustration with the highest Roman Catholic authorities.

Disgraced bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who was brought down by a sexual abuse scandal 13 years ago, became a symbol in Belgium of the Roman Catholic church’s hypocrisy in dealing with abuse in its own ranks.

“We, the (Belgian) bishops, have been asking for years for a reaction. The letters are there, the discussions. All noted down in lists. When will we have a reaction? And why don’t we get one?” Johan Bonny, the bishop of Antwerp, said on broadcaster VRT’s website.

Vangheluwe shot to international infamy amid disclosures he had sexually abused his young nephew for over a dozen years when he was a priest and later a bishop. He later admitted he also abused a second nephew. The whole time, he made light of his crimes.

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