Jonathan Luxmoore 28 November, 2019 Catholic Herald.

The priest is now in Belgium, receiving therapy at the Salesians’ Boortmeerbeek community (Getty)

‘I don’t think it helps much to start blaming people,’ says spokesman
Belgium’s Salesian order has defended its decision to send a priest convicted of child abuse to work with Caritas in Central African Republic, where he has been accused of abusing children again.
Fr Carlo Loots, Belgian provincial vicar and spokesman for the Salesians of Don Bosco, also said the order had learned from the incident and changed some procedures.
“We’ve learned that all communications involving such cases must be written and documented, rather than exchanged verbally at the risk of being passed over and forgotten,” Fr Loots told the Catholic News Service on November 26.
“We’ve also improved our safeguarding policy and learned to be much more prudent in dealing with an abuser. We thought at the time we’d taken the right decisions, but we must recognise doing our best at that moment wasn’t enough.”
Investigations continued into activities by Salesian Fr Luk Delft, who was accused in a CNN report of abusing children while working in Central African Republic.
In 2012, after being convicted of child abuse and possession of child pornography while working as a Salesian school teacher and aid agency director, Fr Delft was given an 18 months’ suspended jail sentence and 10-year ban from contact with children by Ghent’s correctional court.
However, in 2013 he was hired by Bishop Albert Vanbuel, a Belgian and fellow Salesian, to work with Caritas at a church camp for internally displaced people in Central African Republic’s Kaga-Bandoro Diocese. After Bishop Vanbuel retired in October 2015, Fr Delft was appointed national director of Caritas in Bangui.
However, CNN said Fr Delft continued to have access to poor and vulnerable children; it said there were allegations of abuse in Kaga-Bandoro.
Fr Loots told CNS sending Fr Delft to Central African Republic had seemed a “reasonable solution” in 2013 when Bishop Vanbuel requested help with “food deliveries and distribution” at his diocese’s refugee compound. He added that the Belgian court’s probation commission had had “no idea about the situation in the CAR” when it approved the priest’s assignment.
Although Bishop Vanbuel had been informed of Fr Delft’s background and agreed to supervise him, Fr Loots said, he also had “clearly no idea how a pedophile really functions.”
“Bishops and religious orders always face a big problem knowing what to do with abusers of young people – there’s no death penalty for this, so we can’t kill them, but nor can we send them to a desert island,” he told CNS. “Instead, we have to look for a solution, and the philosophy is that such people deserve a new chance – but not in the same context or situation as previously.
“You can say the Salesians shouldn’t have let him go to Africa, but we trusted the advice given by the probation commission, which should also have seen it was too risky. This case is very complex, and I don’t think it helps much to start blaming people,” Fr Loots said.
He said the priest was now in Belgium, being supervised and receiving therapy at the Salesians’ Boortmeerbeek community, where there were “no activities involving young people”.
The Vatican-based Caritas Internationalis, which coordinates 165 Caritas charities in 200 countries, said in a November 21 statement it was “saddened and outraged” by the accusations against Fr Delft and expressed “compassion and solidarity” with children and families identified in the CNN report. It added that it was assisting Caritas in Central African Republic “as it investigates the allegations, strengthens its safeguarding mechanisms and offers care and support to any possible victims”. It also asked Caritas organisations worldwide to “vet their governance, staff, volunteers and international staff”.
Michel Roy, former secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, said in a November 23 statement he had been unaware of Fr Delft’s conviction until 2019. However, he added that he had been warned by a therapist in 2017 that Fr Delft “should not be in contact with children” and had alerted Caritas in Central African Republic and Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, who had in turn relayed concerns to the Salesians.
Catholics make up a third of the 4.66 million inhabitants of Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, which has been wracked by militia violence since 2013.
The Salesian centres at Damala and Galabadja took in around 70,000 youngsters during the height of violence in 2014 and continue to offer shelter, education, vocational training and psychological and medical care for “youth of all ages, cultures and religions,” according to a Salesian website.
Thierry Bonaventura, communication officer at Caritas Internationalis, told CNS on November 21 that the charity’s complaints handling committee had conducted a “rapid assessment” after the CNN report and asked Caritas-Central African Republic to dismiss Fr Delft.
However, he added that national Caritas staffers were not “Vatican employees” or subject to Vatican laws. He said responsibility for implementing Caritas Internationalis’ safeguarding policies, adopted in 2018, rested with autonomous member-organisations, governed by national bishops’ conferences.
Jesuit Fr Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for the Belgian bishops’ conference, said the conference had “immediately alerted” the public prosecutor’s office in Brussels when informed of claims against Fr Delft in June, adding that the priest’s “future functions” would be determined by the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith.
Fr Loots said the Salesians now require men wanting to join the order to undergo rigorous screening and assessment procedures to exclude potential abusers. The order also conducts social media and criminal background checks.
He said an ecclesiastical investigation would follow the Belgian judicial process.
“Things are complicated since Luk Delft is here, and his possible victims are there. But we trust the competence of the judicial authorities in Belgium and the CAR. Although I think everyone did their best, we must conclude this wasn’t enough.”
Carol Glatz in Rome contributed to this story


The RCC crowd tell us they have learned their lesson and have changed.

But here we see the Belgian Salesians sending a priest convicted of paedophilia in 2012 to work with children in Africa until June 2019 !!!


They cannot be trusted.

The RCC must be monitored EVERYWHERE by civic police and civil authorities.

The RCC is an international threat to children!




Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down amid criticism

The Tullamore parish Facebook post drew numerous comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the message and calling for the author to be identified. File image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Patsy McGarry

A Catholic parish in the midlands was at the centre of controversy over the weekend after circulating a message to parishioners critical of IVF treatment.

The Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down following a virulent social media reaction to the Christmas Eve posting.

Published at 3.51pm on Tuesday by “Tullamore Parish, Offaly”, the message was accompanied by an image of a foetal Jesus with a halo over his head and the words “He’s on His way” and “Christmas starts with Christ”.

The message called for prayers “for couples struggling to naturally conceive life and who are avoiding IVF treatment”.

It continued: “The process of IVF damages embryonic stem cells and thus life and is therefore completely, clearly and totally incompatible with our Catholic faith. For all believers in God, all life is sacred at all times.”

The post drew numerous Facebook comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the posting and calling for the author to be identified.

One woman wrote “I actually had no words in response to it, I was so shocked, maddened and really upset by it all especially after being through the process. They are so far removed from the realities of people’s everyday lives in their ivory tower.”

Attempts by The Irish Times to speak to priests in Tullamore parish on the matter were unsuccessful. One priest who was contacted simply said “bye” and hung up when this reporter identified himself. A second attempt to speak to the priest elicited the response “no comment” before he hung up again.

There was no response from the diocese of Meath communication office or from spokespeople for the bishop’s conference.


The silly clerical ejits of Tullamore parish have put their big ignorant feet in by criticising IVF over Christmas.

They are also showing their absolute ignorance of the science of IVF.

Quite rightly, many people have protested and now the clerics have taken down their post.

They are now running away from The Irish Times and Patry McGarry, even hanging up the phone after saying a haughty “bye”.

Very courageous! High principles!

These ejits belong to a totally disgraced priesthood and institution.

What makes them think that they still have the right to lecture Irish men, women and couples about their bodies, their sexuality and family life.

It’s like asking Dr Crippen to give a lecture on the right to life.


Tullamore is where I was born and baptised.

A few years ago I attended a family function in the GAA club in Tullamore.

The then PP was touring the tables and was shocked to find me at one. Embarrassed, he sputtered out the line: “You must join us for lunch some day”.

I replied: “How about tomorrow”. He had no option but to agree.

The next day I bought two bottles of half decent wine and headed for the presbytery at lunch time – to the shock of the clergy.

The two bottles of wine were taken from me and put in a cupboard, the PP saying: “We will keep these for a feast day”.

Lunch proceeded with the clergy talking about football and golf – totally ignoring my presence

I was neither surprised or disappointed. Why didn’t one of them challenge me on my theology or my opposition to their “church”?

I’ll tell you why. Most priests do not halls the balls of a mouse.

They prefer to sit anonymously at a computer condemning those good couples who only chance of having a baby is IVF.

There will come a time when there are no priests in Tullamore.