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Belgian church offers to help child abuse victims

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Belgian church offers to help child abuse victims


The new head of the Belgian Catholic Church, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, has vowed to restore the public’s trust after an independent body found its clergy had abused children for decades.

“We want to get involved and offer our maximum availability to the victims,” he told reporters.

“We have to listen to their questions, to re-establish their dignity and help to heal the suffering they have endured.”

Hundreds of people came forward with accounts of how they were molested by Catholic officials in Belgium.

A special commission said in its report last week that 13 victims committed suicide as a result.

The report’s findings are the latest embarrassment for the Belgian church, still reeling from a child sex scandal involving the former Bishop of Bruges.

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