Pope Francis has accepted Bishop Luc Van Looy’s request to be dispensed of his appointment as a cardinal.
The 80-year-old Bishop emeritus of Ghent, Belgium, was among the 21 members of the clergy set to become a Cardinal in the consistory called by Pope Francis for August 27.
Yet according to a press release from the Belgian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Van Looy had asked the Pope for his appointment to be done away with so as to not hurt the victims of abuse with his being made a cardinal. As bishop of Ghent, Van Looy was criticize for not doing enough to combat abuse in his diocese.
The change will not affect a future conclave, since Bishop Van Looy had already passed the 80-year-old age limit for cardinals to be eligible to vote.