Bishop Vangheluwe of Bruges, Belgium, resigns
Another episcopal domino topples as public awareness of and outrage at the clergy sexual abuse problem increases in Europe. I wish this problem would evaporate quickly, like waking up from a nightmare, but my guess is that the more likely scenario will be a protracted agony of more dominoes falling for some time to come.
“When I was still just a priest, and for a certain period at the beginning of my episcopate, I sexually abused a minor from my immediate environment. The victim is still marked by what happened. Over the course of these decades I have repeatedly recognised my guilt towards him and his family, and I have asked forgiveness; but this did not pacify him, as it did not pacify me. The media storm of recent weeks has increased the trauma, and the situation is no longer tenable. I profoundly regret what I did and offer my most sincere apologies to the victim, to his family, to all the Catholic community and to society in general. I have presented my resignation as bishop of Bruges to Pope Benedict XVI. It was accepted on Friday and so I retire”. . . . (continue reading — more coverage here)