Once again the Roman Catholic Church finds its Bishop of Bruge at the center of controversy surrounding a priest accused of sexually assaulting two students. The priest was able to allude prosecution because the pupils came forward with their complaints too late. The time between the assaults and the reporting spanned from the late ‘80’s to 2010. As such the authorities were unable to press charges and had to allow the priest to continue working with children.
The Bishop of Bruge’s Jozef De Kesel stated that he did “recall the priest for a conversation.” However, the conversation did not result in any punishment for the priest and he was sent back to Brazil where he works with street children. One can only imagine how many of these poor children who have no advocates to defend them, have fallen prey to this predatory priest. At some point, the Roman Catholic Church must stop sweeping these cases under the rug or moving the accused priest(s) to new locations…even out of the country, to avoid prosecution.
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When Christ said, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me” He did not mean that little children should suffer at the hands of those who claim to represent Christ. This is a blight on the Christian Church in general but also a disgrace on the Catholic Church specifically. Those who sit among the pews of the Catholic Churches and Protestant Churches should not suffer these abuses in silence.