“Belgian archbishop ordered to pay church abuse victim” & related articles

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Belgian bishop told to pay damages to victim of paedophile priest

Yahoo! News

23 April 2015

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, pictured here in Brussels on December 24, 2014, has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros in damages to a former choir boy subjected to sexual abuse by a priest
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Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, pictured here in Brussels on December 24, 2014, has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros in damages to a former choir boy subjected to sexual abuse by a priest (AFP Photo/Nicolas Maeterlinck)

Brussels (AFP) – A Belgian court on Thursday ordered the Archbishop of Brussels to pay 10,000 euros in damages to a former choir boy subjected to sexual abuse by a priest.

The plaintiff Joel Devillet, now 42, was raped by a priest in southern Belgium between 1987 and 1991. The earliest abuse happened when he was 14 years old and has left him with serious psychological problems.

In 1996 the victim denounced his violator in front of an internal tribunal of the Belgian Catholic Church, which advised him to seek therapy.

Devillet failed in a bid to get a criminal conviction and so launched, and won, a civil suit claiming damages from the priest involved.

He also filed a suit to demand compensation from Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, the Primate of Belgium, who at the time of the abuse was in charge of the central Namur diocese.

The Liege court of appeal on Thursday said the bishop, who will hand his resignation to the pope when he reaches the maximum permitted age of 75 next month, did not take sufficient measures to deal with the abusive priest, and was told to pay the 10,000 euros ($10,800) to Devillet.

Belgium was hit by a huge paedophile scandal involving the Catholic Church in 2010 when former Bruges bishop Roger Vangheluwe admitted to sexually abusing two of his nephews.

His case led to thousands of people coming forward to tell of sexual abuse at the hands of Belgian priests.

“It is some satisfaction. I’ve waited nine years for this. I was bound to win,” Devillet said on television.

The Belgian Primate has 15 days to appeal.

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 Belgian bishop told to pay damages to victim of paedophile priest

expatica.com

23rd April 2015

A Belgian court on Thursday ordered the Archbishop of Brussels to pay 10,000 euros in damages to a former choir boy subjected to sexual abuse by a priest.

The plaintiff Joel Devillet, now 42, was raped by a priest in southern Belgium between 1987 and 1991. The earliest abuse happened when he was 14 years old and has left him with serious psychological problems.

In 1996 the victim denounced his violator in front of an internal tribunal of the Belgian Catholic Church, which advised him to seek therapy.

Devillet failed in a bid to get a criminal conviction and so launched, and won, a civil suit claiming damages from the priest involved.

He also filed a suit to demand compensation from Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, the Primate of Belgium, who at the time of the abuse was in charge of the central Namur diocese.

The Liege court of appeal on Thursday said the bishop, who will hand his resignation to the pope when he reaches the maximum permitted age of 75 next month, did not take sufficient measures to deal with the abusive priest, and was told to pay the 10,000 euros ($10,800) to Devillet.

Belgium was hit by a huge paedophile scandal involving the Catholic Church in 2010 when former Bruges bishop Roger Vangheluwe admitted to sexually abusing two of his nephews.

His case led to thousands of people coming forward to tell of sexual abuse at the hands of Belgian priests.

“It is some satisfaction. I’ve waited nine years for this. I was bound to win,” Devillet said on television.

The Belgian Primate has 15 days to appeal.

3 Responses to “Belgian archbishop ordered to pay church abuse victim” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    This is so very different than anything we see here in North America. It is the Archbishop himself who is held accountable and must pay, not the office (archdiocese), but the Archbishop himself.

    Is that the norm in Belgium? or is that unique to this particular lawsuit?

    That aside, I do believe that it is right and proper that those who covered up for and/or enabled predatory clergy should be obliged to dip into their own pockets and contribute financially.

    One more thing…

    According to the articles Joel Devillet, the victim, “failed in a bid to get a criminal conviction.” I think that is probably because he was unable to pursue criminal charges because of the statute of limitations? is that right?

  2. 1yellowknife says:

    That is right, Sylvia

  3. 1yellowknife says:

    If I am not mistaken, Archbishop Leonard will get a lucrative Belgian state pension (as if he were a civil servant) upon his retirement. If I am not mistaken, all Belgian R.C. clergy get his — if so, adds insult to injury.

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