Most of the priests that were defrocked, are older priests that were convicted years ago. "The pope turned back their ordination, which means they are no longer priests, but ordinary citizens", explains Tommy Scholtes, the spokesman of the Belgian Bishop Conference. "They are no longer being paid by the Church."
The people involved are not holding an official function within the Church. While Eric Dejaeger is among the 8 Belgians that were ousted, the notorious Roger Vangheluwe - the former Bruges Bishop who abused his nephew - was not defrocked by the pope. It turns out that the facts had long been precluded by the lapse of time. Vangheluwe has already been punished. He was sent abroad.