Thursday, January 06, 2011

77 percent of Flemish people think Archbishop Léonard is unsuitable


77% des Flamands trouvent que Monseigneur Léonard ne convient pas - Belgique - 7s7Three-quarters of the Flemish people believe that Bishop Leonard is unsuitable as Archbishop, according to a survey conducted on behalf iVox magazine Telefacts, broadcast on the television channel VTM. Similarly, confidence in the Church is at its lowest.

Asked whether Bishop Leonard has managed well the problem of sexual abuse within the church, 84% of the Flemish feel that this is not the case. More than three-quarters (77.3%) of Flemish Catholics also found that the prelate is not suitable as archbishop and 78% of those who go to Mass on Sunday believe that Archbishop Danneels was better primate (Cathcon- incredible result- given the history)

Confidence in the Church is also at its lowest, according to the survey. Only 10% of the inhabitants of the northern part of the country still qualify as Catholics and only 6% of them still attend Sunday mass. More than three-quarters of the Flemish have lost faith in the Church as an institution.

Monsignor Leonard said he was surprised by these results, according to his statements in the report. "It surprises me a little. When I called on April 23, that the victims find the courage to report to the Adriaenssens Committee , hundreds of people came forward to be finally heard. I find that a good result. " (Belga/7sur7)


T.R. Peacocke said...

I'm not familiar with the situation in Belgium. Is Monseigneur Leonard deserving of this negative opinion, or is the negative opinion a reflection of the liberal orientation of Flemish Catholics? How do conservative, traditionalist Belgian Catholics view Mons. Leonard?

Michael said...

Before I make a comment, I should qualify myself by saying that I am a practicing Catholic living in Flanders (Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant)who has personally met Mons. Leonard. He is one of the kindest persons that I have ever met and he is an extremely intelligent individual who speaks both Flemish and French fluently (never before have we had a bishop who has spoken both so well) This is HUGE! I also believe he is a very orthodox leader who deeply desires unity in this torn country. The problem lies, however, with the people's mistrust of the institutional Church in general. There have been many abuses in the past which most people abroad do not know about. Priests and bishops in the past functioned almost as politicians. I am not going to get into that at this time. But basically, in the 1970s and 80s there was a complete loss of interest in whatever the Church was proclaiming. People simply didn't want to hear it anymore because it was always something shoved down their throat. Religion was not a happy thing for most people here. (Of course, this was a warped sense of Catholicism that was being promoted because I for one, find a great amount of happiness in being Catholic) However, it is important to say that a lot of traditional Catholic customs are still practiced and most people do call themselves Catholic if you ask them. But back to the main point. Here is an important fact: There is a certain politician/professor/tv personality named Rik Torfs, who is at once a defender and a critic of the Catholic Church, and also a person I know well. He is in great disagreement of how Mons. Leonard is approaching the whole sex abuse scandal. If he is critical of the archbishop, then the entire population will be critical because the Flemish people look up to Torfs. Well, there are many other reasons for the disaster in Belgium. I've just scratched the surface. Another thing I could add is the large amount of Masonic influence here. But to put it very simply: The Church in Belgium is in great crisis. Faith itself is in great crisis. There's no such thing as a conservative or a liberal Catholic here. You are either a practicing Catholic or nothing at all.