Head of Belgian Catholic Church hit with pies for views on abortion, homosexuality
BRUSSELS, Belgium, April 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels was hit in the face with custard pies Tuesday by homosexual activists who oppose what the head of the Belgian Catholic Church has said about homosexuality.
The archbishop, widely recognized to have been installed in Belgium by Pope Benedict XVI to reform the liberal Belgian Church, which has been riddled with covered-up homosexual abuse scandals, has been verbally and physically attacked, and ostracized for his staunch orthodox Catholicism.
This week, a well-known Belgian prankster, known as “The Glooper,” who has targeted French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Microsoft founder Bill Gates in the past, posted videos of the pie attacks on YouTube.
At least four pie attacks took place before and during the archbishop’s speaking presentation at the renowned liberal Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve near Brussels.
This is the second time that Archbishop Leonard has been attacked with pies by homosexual activists. In December 2010, a man ran up to the archbishop during a service at the Brussels cathedral and shoved a cherry pie in his face, apparently in connection with his statements on homosexuality.
All the incidents stem from comments Leonard made in a book released last October, in which he said that AIDS is a consequence of risky sexual behavior, including homosexual sexual activity. “AIDS at the beginning multiplied through sexual behaviour with all sorts of partners or else through anal rather than vaginal sexual rapports,” said Leonard.
“When you mistreat the environment it ends up mistreating us in turn,” he continued. “And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance … All I’m saying is that sometimes there are consequences linked to our actions. I believe this is a totally decent, honourable and respectable stance.”
In December, Leonard was targeted by homosexualist groups, condemned by the country’s prime minister, and distanced by his fellow bishops. A lawyer, acting on behalf of a homosexualist lobby group, filed a formal complaint against Leonard for “homophobic statements” and “violating an anti-discrimination law.” Academics at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, where his talk took place earlier this week, circulated a petition at the time calling for Leonard’s resignation from his post as the university’s chancellor.
Leonard, however, remained unswerving. In a December letter he clarified that while he did not mean to imply homosexuals themselves were “abnormal” and denied any implication that AIDS was divine or human punishment, he did maintain that AIDS’s emergence was the consequence of risky sexual activity.
“There is in the homosexual tendency and practice an orientation that is not coherent with the objective logic of sexuality,” he wrote at the time.
Archbishop Leonard has also been attacked for his views on abortion. A key speaker at last year’s March for Life in Belgium, Leonard has been an enthusiastic supporter of the pro-life initiative.
The activists who attacked the archbishop with pies said it was precisely for such views that they were targeting Leonard. One of them reportedly told Belgian media, “for all those homosexuals who daren’t tell their parents they are gay, for all those young girls who want to have an abortion, he absolutely deserved it.”