Appointed cardinal by Pope Francis, he renounces the purple because he covered up pedophilia. The case of Lucas Van Looy

Renounce the purple because he covered up the pedophilia of his clergy. This is what was announced by Lucas Van Looyarchbishop emeritus of Gent, in Belgium, who has already communicated his decision to Pope Francis. Bergoglio would have imposed the red hat on him in the consistory of 27 August 2022 in which twenty new cardinals will be appointed, of which sixteen will be electors in a possible conclave, or with less than eighty years. Van Looy had been included by the Pope on the list of five new cardinals who are not electors which now with his step backwards become four. There Belgian Bishops’ Conference he explained that Francis’s choice “has aroused many positive reactions, but also criticisms due to the fact that Van Looy would not always have reacted strongly enough as bishop of Ghent (2003-2019) against abuses in pastoral relations. To prevent the victims of such abuses from being wounded again as a result of his cardinalate, Monsignor Van Looy asked the Pope to exempt him from accepting this appointment. Pope Francis accepted his request ”. Furthermore, the bishops of Belgium “reaffirm on this occasion their commitment to continue unabashedly with their fight against all forms of abuse in the Catholic Church in which the interests of the victims and their loved ones are always in the first place”.

Bergoglio, after the world summit on the pedophilia of the clergy held in the Vatican in February 2019, issued very strict laws they are not against those who commit these crimes, but also against those who cover up them. “Crimes of sexual abuse – the Pope explained – offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful. In order for these phenomena, in all their forms, to no longer occur, one is needed conversion continuous and profound of hearts, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church, so that personal holiness and moral commitment can contribute to promoting the full credibility of the evangelical proclamation and the effectiveness of the Church’s mission “.

For Bergoglio, “this responsibility falls, first of all, on the successors of the apostles, appointed by God to guide the pastoral of his people, and demands from them the commitment to follow closely in the footsteps of the Divine Master. By reason of their ministry, in fact, they govern the particular Churches entrusted to them as vicars and legates of Christ, with advice, persuasion, example, but also with authority and sacred power, which however they do not use. if not to build one’s flock in truth and holiness, remembering that whoever is greatest must act as the least, and whoever is the leader, as whoever serves. What more stringently concerns the successors of the apostles, concerns all those who in various ways assume ministries in the Church, profess the evangelical counsels or are called to serve the Christian people. Therefore, it is good that procedures aimed at preventing and combating these crimes which betray the trust of the faithful be adopted at a universal level ”.

Recently, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the protection of minors, he indicated seven points to be transformed into action to “start a constructive process of revision, reform, and reconciliation” on pedophilia. “It is a reality – explained the cardinal – that we will be judged on the basis of our response to the crisis of abuse in the Church. We need a pastoral conversion that includes the following aspects: offering effective pastoral care to the victims; give clear indications (and supervise) on training courses for personnel in the diocese; make an adequate and accurate screening; remove the culprits; cooperate with the civil authorities; carefully assess the existing risks for abusive priests (for themselves and for the community) once they have been reduced to the lay state; demonstrate that the protocols are in place, so that people know that the policies work. A policy implementation audit and report is very helpful. The good news – concluded the cardinal – is that where effective policies are adopted and implemented effectively, the number of cases is drastically reduced ”.

Twitter: @FrancescoGrana

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