Pope began to remove bishops involved in abuse cases

Armen Hareyan's picture

Pope Benedict 16th this week began the process of removing bishops who are involved in the pedophile cases directly or indirectly. The pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church this week accepted the regination of bishops in any way involved in abuse scandal cases.

Thus, he sent a message to the Catholics around the world that the Church will never anymore tolerate priests that abuse minors.

The withdrawal on Friday of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe Belgian, 73, who admitted abusing a minor, was announced by the Vatican press office. It confirms Pope Benedict's new approach of "zero tolerance" against child abusers.

Following Pope's earlier general request to repent, Roger Vangheluwe, the bishop of Bruges in Belgium, admitted that he abused a minor while a priest and resigns for the sake of the truth and out of respect to the family of the child. The statement was published in Vatican's website.

The Vatican has never displayed this much transparency before and actually no pope has gone this far in dressing the child abuse cases with "zero tolerance" policy.

Belgian bishop's resignation was accepted on the basis of a canonical rule. This rule is used in exceptional cases. It is the Article 401, paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The rule has been applied in at least six times in the last month.

Vangheluwe is the first bishop to resign for being directly involved in a sexual abuse of a minor after the wave of scandals plaguing the Catholic Church in Europe and the United States since the beginning of this year by pedophile priests and has spread to Brazil and Chile. Other clerics have renounced their positions for having covered up pedophilia for decades.

Written by Armen Hareyan

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