Jozef De Kesel
De Kesel was born in 1947 in Ghent. He entered the seminary in 1965, studied Philosophy and theology at the seminary of Saint-Paul in Ghent and received his degree in Philosophy and Letters at the Catholic University of Leuven. From 1968 until 1972 he studied theology in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he gained first license and in 1977 his doctorate.
He was ordained a priest on 26 August 1972 for the diocese of Ghent. While in Ghent he held the following positions: Professor of Religion at the College of Bishops Eeklo (1974–1980), Professor of Religion, Philosophical Anthropology and Contemporary Thought at the School of Social Gent (1977–1980), professor of fundamental theology and of dogmatic theology at the seminary of Ghent (1980–1996) and at the same time, Professor of Theology Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in Ghent, where he was also Dean, professor of Christology at the Catholic University of Louvain (1989–1992), responsible for the formation of pastoral workers in Ghent (1983–2002) episcopal vicar for theological training and pastoral in the diocese of Ghent (1992–2002).
He was appointed Titular Bishop of Bulna and Auxiliary of Malines-Brussels on 20 March 2002, by Pope John Paul II and was consecrated on 26 May and has been appointed as Vicar General for the Vicariate of Brussels. In the bishops' conference he is responsible for inter-diocesan Commission for Pastoral Liturgy (Flemish and French) and delegate to the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community ( COMECE ).
He was appointed as bishop of Bruges after the early resignation of the previous bishop, Roger Vangheluwe. In September 2010 Bishop De Kesel said: "I think the Church must ask itself the question of whether it is appropriate to keep the mandatory character of celibacy. We could say that there are celibate priests, but that people for whom celibacy is humanly impossible should also have the chance of becoming priests." Public opinion polls show that 73 per cent of Belgian Catholics support marriage for priests. But ending celibacy has been ruled out by Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, the conservative head of the Belgian church. "If you were to reason that way, you could conclude that marriage should be banned because the majority of sex abuse cases occur within family settings," Archbishop Leonard said earlier in September dismissing the link between paedophile priests and celibacy.
|Bishop of Bruges
10 July 2010–present
- "RINUNCE E NOMINE". press.catholica.va. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
- Waterfield, Bruno (21 September 2010). "Belgian bishops question whether priests need be celibate". Telegraph.co.uk (London).