Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

SCOTT HEPPELL/AP/Press Association Images
Belgium

Belgian church to compensate victims for abuse

The Catholic church in Belgium said that in recognition of its “moral responsibility and the expectations of society” it will ensure those who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy will be compensated.

THE BELGIAN CHURCH has today said that it is willing to pay compensation to victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Belgium’s bishops and religious leaders said in a statement Monday they are “deeply touched and distraught” by revelations over the past year. Over 500 witnesses have come forward with harrowing accounts of molestation in the country by Catholic clergy spanning decades.

The Herald Sun reports that 13 people are believed to have taken their own lives as a result of the abuse.

In a statement, the Church said: ”Recognising their moral responsibility and the expectations of society, the bishops and religious leaders pledge to ensure recognition of the victims and adopt measures to heal their suffering.”

They added that they were “determined to bring dignity back to the victims and provide financial compensation according to their needs”.

A former Belgian bishop at the center of one of the Roman Catholic church’s biggest pedophile scandals said last month that he had abused two nephews and insisted he had no plans to abandon the priesthood.

Additional reporting by the AP

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

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.