BRUSSELS – The Belgian church says it is willing to pay compensation to victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
Belgium's bishops and religious leaders said in a statement Monday they are "deeply touched and distraught" by revelations over the past year. Over 500 witnesses have come forward with harrowing accounts of molestation in the country by Catholic clergy spanning decades.
They say they want to "help victims restore their dignity and, according to their needs, provide financial help."
A former Belgian bishop at the center of one of the Roman Catholic church's biggest pedophile scandals said last month that he had abused two nephews and insisted he had no plans to abandon the priesthood.