Belgian child sex bishop reveals second abuse
Belgium was in shock Friday, with the country's justice minister slamming an admission by a former bishop that he sexually abused a second child as a "slap in the face" for all victims.
Roger Vangheluwe, who is already in Vatican exile, told Dutch-language Belgian VT4 on Thursday night that he abused one nephew for 13 years and the other for 12 months, but that he didn't think he was a paedophile.
"How did it start? As in all families: when they came to visit, my nephews would stay over," said Vangheluwe, who left Belgium under Vatican orders to seek spiritual and psychological treatment, the Holy See's embassy said Saturday.
"It began as a kind of game with this boy. It was never a question of rape, or physical violence. He never saw me naked and there was no penetration," Vangheluwe said.
"I don't in the slightest have any sense I am a paedophile," he said. "I don't get the impression my nephew was opposed, quite the contrary," he added, although he also admitted "I knew it wasn't good, I confessed it several times."
In an overnight statement, Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck called on the Church to shut Vangheluwe up, saying his "irresponsible behaviour" by speaking out in the media was at odds with provisional Vatican sanctions.
Pope Benedict XVI could decide to defrock Vangheluwe, and De Clerck expressed surprise that the bishop's removal by the Church "has not awakened in him a realisation of the dramatic scale" of his actions.
De Clerck said Vangheluwe's "appearance in the media is particularly misplaced," deeming it a "slap in the face for his victims and for all victims" of child sex abuse.
© 2011 AFP