Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Belgian bishop ordered to pay for priest’s sexual abuse

24 April 2015, 08:29

Brussels - A Belgian court on Thursday ordered the Archbishop of Brussels to pay 10 000 euros in damages to a former choir boy subjected to sexual abuse by a priest.

The plaintiff Joel Devillet, now 42, was raped by a priest in southern Belgium between 1987 and 1991. The earliest abuse happened when he was 14 years old and has left him with serious psychological problems.

In 1996 the victim denounced his violator in front of an internal tribunal of the Belgian Catholic Church, which advised him to seek therapy.

Devillet failed in a bid to get a criminal conviction and so launched, and won, a civil suit claiming damages from the priest involved.

He also filed a suit to demand compensation from Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, the Primate of Belgium, who at the time of the abuse was in charge of the central Namur diocese.

Also read: Chief attributes death of 20 youths to sacrilege done to god of the land

Sufficient measures

The Liege court of appeal on Thursday said the bishop, who will hand his resignation to the pope when he reaches the maximum permitted age of 75 next month, did not take sufficient measures to deal with the abusive priest, and was told to pay the 10 000 euros to Devillet.

Belgium was hit by a huge paedophile scandal involving the Catholic Church in 2010 when former Bruges bishop Roger Vangheluwe admitted to sexually abusing two of his nephews.

His case led to thousands of people coming forward to tell of sexual abuse at the hands of Belgian priests.

"It is some satisfaction. I've waited nine years for this. I was bound to win," Devillet said on television.

The Belgian Primate has 15 days to appeal.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...