Middelkerke asks diocese to think again Author: MB

Belga
Fri 31/10/2014 - 13:46 MB The municipal cabinet in the West Flemish resort of Middelkerke has written to the Bishop of Bruges Jozef De Kesel asking him to revoke the appointment to the position of parish Priest of a man convicted of sexually assaulting a 16 year-old boy 5 years ago.

The letter was sent to Bishop De Kesel via electronic mail on Friday morning, just ahead of the weekly meeting of the curates of the Bruges Diocese. The man in question was to have started his duties as a priest in Middlekerke on Saturday 1 November.

The Mayor of Middelkerke Janna Rommel-Opstaele (liberal, photo above) expressed her shock at the appointment of the priest.

"The municipal cabinet would like to stress that it doesn’t want to put this person on trial, but the character of the new priest does not meet up to our expectations for someone that is meant to set an example”, the letter reads.

It is not clear whether the issue will be discussed at the weekly curates’ meeting. The curates will meet with representatives of the Middelkerke municipal authorities later on Friday.

The Bishop of Bruges said on Thursday that he is sticking by his decision and that the convicted Priest deserves a second chance.