New Catholic archbishop of Brussels

Archbishop Léonard and Cardinal Danneels The long-awaited announcement of the successor to the retiring Catholic archbishop of Brussels, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, has sparked an unusual outcry in Belgium. The new archbishop, André-Mutien Léonard, is sometimes called  “the Belgian Ratzinger” for his conservative views. Danneels ranks as one of the last liberal prelates in a Church hierarchy that has turned increasingly traditional under Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict.

Léonard has beene a controversial figure in Belgium for his critical stands on homosexuality, same-sex marriage and condom use. He has been an outspoken opponent of abortion and euthanasia, both of which are legal in Belgium, and criticised the Catholic universities of Leuven and Louvain for their research into assisted reproduction and embryonic stem cells. 

André-Mutien Léonard has visited Medjugorje several times and is known for his strong support of new spiritual communities and movements within the Church such as the Community of the Beatitudes.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 December 2012 )