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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Belgian Archbishop: “AIDS Is a Kind of Immanant Justice”

Belgian Catholic Primate Archbishop André-Joseph LéonardBelgian Catholic Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard

    According to Flandersnews, the Belgian Catholic Primate, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, is about to publish a memoir. The book is a collection of conversations with the Archbishop about his youth, career and ideas. The book was compiled by journalists Dominique Minten and Louis Mahoux, who held lengthy conversations with the Belgian Primate. It sketches his youth and career and also focuses on problems that the Roman Catholic Church is currently wrestling with.
   The Archbishop, speaking about AIDS, says that this is a kind "immanent justice". The Archbishop's spokesman Jürgen Mettepenningen read the proofs of the book and voiced his concern about this passage, but André-Joseph Léonard decided to let it stand.

“When the Archbishop spoke of homosexuality as a misunderstood form of sexuality I also sounded the alarm (to the archbishop). I thought that this could be formulated in a better way. But I don’t have the job of thinking for him. I am only his spokesman.”

   The Catholic Church in Belgium is embroiled in a massive child sexual abuse scandal. Last June, police seized files on 475 cases last Juny, but a court declared the raid illegal and ordered the files returned. The Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vengheluwe, resigned in April after admitting he had sexually abused his nephew for years. In September, Bishop Guy Harpigny, the Belgian bishops’ spokesman on the abuse scandal, told Belgium Radio that the church is afraid to give a full apology for the sexual abuse of children by its priests as this could open the door to compensation claims.


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