London, 16 June, 2022 / 8:30 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis has accepted a Belgian Catholic bishop’s request not to be made a cardinal at a consistory in August.
Bishop Lucas Van Looy, the 80-year-old emeritus bishop of Ghent, was due to receive the red hat with 20 other churchmen in Rome on Aug. 27.
A June 16 statement from the Belgian bishops’ conference said: “The announcement of the creation of Mgr. Lucas Van Looy, emeritus bishop, as a cardinal has provoked many positive reactions, but also criticism that as Bishop of Ghent (2004-2020) he did not always react vigorously enough against abuses in the pastoral relationship.”
“To prevent victims of such abuses from being hurt again as a result of his cardinalate, Bishop Van Looy asked the pope to dispense with his acceptance of the appointment. Pope Francis agreed to his request.”
“Cardinal De Kesel and the bishops of Belgium appreciate the decision of Bishop Van Looy. They reiterate their commitment to continue their fight against all forms of abuse in the Catholic Church, in which the interests of the victims and their families are always at the forefront.”