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Seventy people to take Vatican and Belgian church officials to court over abuse claims

The group claim that the organisations did not protect them from paedophile priests.

A file photo of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who was forced to resign after admitting he abused his young nephew for 13 years.
A file photo of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who was forced to resign after admitting he abused his young nephew for 13 years.
Image: AP Photo/Peter Maenhoudt, file via PA Images

A GROUP OF 70 people claiming to be sexual abuse victims of clergy members are to take Vatican and Belgian church officials to court.

The group claim the organisations did not offer them sufficient protection from paedophile priests.

The lawyer representing the group is Walter Van Streenbrugge. He said today that he will lodge the complaint in about two weeks.

He added that religious officials, including the pope, had failed to take proper action to prevent such abuse.

Last year, the Belgian church become embroiled in a major abuse scandal, when Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe was forced to resign after admitting he abused his young nephew for 13 years.

Following this, hundreds of victims came forward saying they had been abused by members of the Belgian clergy going back decades.

- AP

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