Elderly Belgian Woman Wants to Become 'Deacon', Sues Church


Veer Dusauchoit, 62, is suing the Church in Belgium for "discrimination" because she cannot become a deacon.

Dusauchoit has worked for 30 years in the parish of Herent, near Leuven, in Flemish Brabant, where she presides over funerals and liturgies of the word. The parish has no priest.

She tried to enrol in a four-year course to become a deacon, but was turned down, and sees this rejection as "gender discrimination".

"I am indeed angry, but I am also determined," she told Belgian state broadcaster Rtbf.be (14 May) which is known for its anti-Church stances.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels defended the decision: "At the moment (sic) only men can be ordained deacons. So there's no point in doing the formation, because the finality of becoming one is impossible".

The spokesman added: "The Belgian bishops are in favour of [invalid] women deacons."

The court in Mechelen has one month to make a decision.

The current Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Luc Terlinden, 55, is a strong opponent of the Catholic faith.

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