Pope will not discipline Belgian bishop for now

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A spokesperson for the Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI will not, for the time being, impose disciplinary measures on Belgian Roman Catholic cleric Roger Vangheluwe, who resigned as Bishop of Bruges in April after admitting to sexually abusing his underage nephew for years.

The spokesperson, who made his statement to Belgian Dutch-language public broadcaster VRT, said the pope had been deeply saddened by the Vangheluwe case. The pontiff has approved a proposal by the Belgian bishops to set up a support centre for the victims of clerical abuse.

Mr Vangheluwe is under increasing pressure from Belgian Catholics to resign from the priesthood. The elderly former bishop initially withdrew to a monastery near Bruges. Last week, he decided to leave the monastey and his current whereabouts are unknown.



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