Not This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner

In the midst of a campaign to see him nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Belgium’s revered Father Francois Houtart has confessed to child molestation.

The confession was published in a Belgian newspaper Wednesday and confirmed by the organization the priest founded, deepening a sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in the country. After a spate of accusations this year, the church in September published the harrowing accounts of more than 100 victims of clerical sex abuse, some as young as 2 when they were assaulted. In October, after supporters of 85-year-old Francois Houtart began working to nominate him for the Nobel, a woman contacted the nonprofit organization he founded and said the priest had abused her brother 40 years ago, according to its director, Bernard Duterme.

The committee to nominate Houtart for his anti-globalization work has disbanded.