Msgr Luc Van Looy, sdb, Bishop emeritus of Gent, Belgium, has asked Pope Francis to be exempted from being made cardinal during the Consistory scheduled for 27 August. The Bishop’s request was announced in a statement by the Episcopal Conference of Belgium.
According to the statement, the announcement of the creation of Bishop Van Looy as cardinal, on 29 May, had “provoked many positive reactions, but also criticism that as Bishop of Gent he did not always react vigorously enough against abuses” perpetrated by priests.
The Bishops of Belgium expressed appreciation for Bishop Van Looy’s decision, and stressed “their commitment to continue imperturbably their fight against all forms of abuse in the Catholic Church”, and to always put the interests of victims and their relatives in first place.
Bishop Lucas Van Looy was born in Tielen, Belgium on 28 September 1941. He joined the Salesians of Saint John Bosco in 1961 and was ordained a priest on 12 September 1970. He was ordained a Bishop on 1 February 2004, subsequent to his appointment as Bishop of Gent.