Superior general sues brothers

The superior general of the Brothers of Charity order has sued two of its Belgian members for misuse of one million euros over the Belgian province’s decision to allow euthanasia at its psychiatric hospitals there.

The accused brothers have denied the order’s charge that they misused the province’s funds.

They say the province had agreed to put the million euros into a private foundation to assure the means to care for their ageing congregation.

Stockman also told the accused brothers they would not be reappointed as heads of the Brothers of Charity’s Belgian and European departments.

The order’s Rome headquarters and its Belgian province has been struggling since last year when the province’s directors said they would allow euthanasia in certain cases because patients asked for it.

Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002.

Stockman challenged the province to withdraw its decision or see its hospitals lose their Catholic standing.

But its mostly lay-member board of directors insisted its stand was compatible with Catholic teaching.

The Brothers of Charity has 12 psychiatric hospitals and offers a number of other services.

It is held to be an important element in the Belgian health system with influential lay supporters. It could continue operating the hospitals even if they lost their Catholic connection.


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