Friday, October 29, 2010

Belgian archbishop calls for mercy for elderly abusers

The head of the Belgian Catholic Church has called for mercy for elderly priests facing child abuse allegations.

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard said retired priests should be spared what could be tantamount to "a sort of vengeance", said an AFP report on

Priests who abused children in their care, he told RTBF television, "must obviously be conscious of what happened in their lives, but if they're no longer working, if they have no responsibilities, I'm not sure that exercising a sort of vengeance that will have no concrete result is humane."

Asked whether it was a good thing to punish abusers, he said "If they're still active, certainly."
"But do they (the victims) really want an 85-year-old priest, all of a sudden, pilloried in public?"

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