Many Catholics have criticised Pope Francis for having accepted the resignation, duly presented on his 75th birthday, of Mechelen-Brussels Archbishop André Joseph Léonard, and replacing this highly profiled defender of morality and human rights with the more soft-spoken former Bishop of Bruges, Mgr. Jozef De Kesel. But now it turns out that even Mgr. De Kezel, despite what some describe as “modernist inclinations”, will not be able to avoid being attacked by the country’s hyper-aggressive culture-of-death lobby. Just two weeks after having his new function as Belgian Primate, the country’s media are full of criticism against the new Archbishop who has dared to say that Catholic hospitals have the right to refuse practising abortion and euthanasiahe country’s media are full of criticism against the new Archbishop who has dared to say that Catholic hospitals have the right to refuse practising abortion and euthanasia.
Among the most loudmouthed critics is a certain Wim Distelmans, a self-styled “humanist” notorious for euthanizing even healthy persons. Having been one of the main supporters of Belgium’s unprecedentedly “liberal “ euthanasia laws, which allow the killing of minors as well as of persons who lack the capacities of forming a legally binding will, he is currently lobbying for a law that would allow “euthanasia without demand”.
The conclusion to be drawn is that it does not pay off for the Church – neither in the short, nor in the long run – to seek a modus Vivendi that might appease “liberals” like Mr. Distelmans. What the “liberals” want is total and unreserved submission to thei anti-life agenda, nothing less.