Belgian bishop quits over sex abuse

Pope accepts resignation of bishop after he admits sexually abusing a young boy.

    Roger Vangheluwe, pictured in 1984, resigned after admitting to sexually abusing a boy [AFP]

    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.

    In depth

      Q&A: A 'scandal hidden in secret vaults'
      Pope Benedict's letter in full
      Pope's apology 'not enough'
      Pope responds to child abuse row
      Ireland's legacy of abuse
      'Scandal hidden in secret vaults'

    On Thursday, the pope also accepted the resignation of Irish Bishop James Moriarty, named in a damning report that found Catholic authorities in the Dublin archdiocese concealed abuse of children by priests for three decades.

    The resignation of Moriarty, also 73, was the fourth to be approved over the scandal in Dublin, Ireland's biggest archdiocese.

    The investigation found church leaders there did not report abuse to police until the 1990s as part of a culture of secrecy and an overriding wish to avoid damaging the reputation of the Catholic church.

    One priest admitted to sexually abusing more than 100 children, while another confessed that he had abused children on a fortnightly basis over 25 years.

    Similar revelations across the world have rocked the Roman Catholic church, and one of Germany's most senior bishops, Bishop of Augsburg Walter Mixa, offered his resignation to the pope on Thursday after admitting he beat children at a Catholic orphanage in the 1970s and 1980s.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.