Belgian proponent of liberation theology under investigation for sexual abuse

Fr. Francois Houtart, a strong promoter of Marxist liberation theology, has admitted to sexually abusing a minor.

The Belgian priest, currently living in Ecuador told the newspaper Le Soir on Dec. 29 that he “touched the private parts” his eight-year-old cousin nearly 40 years ago.

He said that the abuse occurred on two different occasions.

The attorney general in Lieja, Cedric Visart de Bocarme, told the Belgium daily L’Viv/L’Express that an investigation into the case has been opened to determine if there were other victims of abuse by Houtart.

Known by his admirers as the “anti-globalization pope,” the 85 year-old Houtart told Le Soir he has asked his supporters to suspend their campaign to nominate him for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. He has also resigned from the Tricontinental Center, the NGO he founded in Louvain. 

In its Jan. 6 edition, L’Viv/L’Express reported that Houtart’s confession has sparked outrage in “thousands of people in French-speaking Belgium—and in many people in Latin America.”

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