A commission established by the Church in Belgium to investigate clerical abuse issued its report on September 10, documenting 475 allegations received this year.
“Almost every institution, every school, particularly boarding schools, at one time harbored abuse,” said Peter Adriaenssens, the commission’s director. The report found that two thirds of the victims were male, that abuse peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, and that 13 abuse victims had committed suicide.
On September 11, Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who has admitted he had abused his nephew, announced he would depart from a Trappist monastery where he had lived since his April resignation. “As of today, I will contemplate my life and future somewhere hidden, outside the Diocese of Bruges.”
Asking forgiveness and admitting his guilt “to our Church, to society, and all people marked by the suffering,” he added, “My remorse has increased now that I see how much evil happened, partly because of me.”