Bishop in church sex abuse scandal leaves Belgium for "treatment"

Other News Materials 10 April 2011 00:10 (UTC +04:00)

A former Belgian bishop who resigned a year ago after admitting to having abused his nephew has left the country to "undergo a period of spiritual and psychological treatment," the Vatican's embassy in Brussels said Saturday, dpa reported.

It was not clear what Roger Vangheluwe's destination was. The nunciature, where the former bishop had lived for the last few months, did not offer any more details.

Vangheluwe was the highest profile priest in Belgium to have been named in the church abuse scandal.

He admitted to having sexually abused his nephew for years before his consecration as the bishop of Bruges in 1985.

Prosecutors closed their case because the incidents exceeded the statute of limitations. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nevertheless decided that Vangheluwe should leave the country.