BRUSSELS — A former Belgian bishop at the center of one of the Roman Catholic church’s biggest pedophile scandals said Thursday that he had abused two nephews and insisted he had no plans to abandon the priesthood.
In his first television interview since the scandal broke a year ago, Roger Vangheluwe claimed he paid one nephew he abused for years tens of thousands of euros in support, but denied it was meant to keep him silent.
He called 13 years of sexual abuse of one nephew which started at age 5 as no more than “a little piece of intimacy.” He said the abuse of a second nephew was very short.
He said he fully realized what he did was wrong, and often went to confession about it. The 74-year-old Vangheluwe resigned a year ago, just as the sex abuse scandal was spreading across Europe.
The acknowledgment of more abuse and his attempts to minimize its impact immediately caused an outcry. Vangheluwe said the 13-year abuse of his nephew “started as, I would call it, a game. And in fact it never went much beyond that,” he told VT4 network. Click here to continue reading.