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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/10/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Belgian man claimed he was acting out of compassion.

A Catholic deacon has been accused of killing at least 40 patients in a Catholic hospital in Belgium. The active deacon allegedly euthanized patients without their permission, killing them because he wanted to end their suffering.

Ivo Poppe serving as a deacon in this photo. He is accused of murdering at least 40 people and keeping a diary about it.

Ivo Poppe serving as a deacon in this photo. He is accused of murdering at least 40 people and keeping a diary about it.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/10/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Belgium, deacon, euthanasia


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A 57-year-old Catholic deacon, Ivo Poppe, has been arrested in Belgium for allegedly killing at least  40 patients in a Catholic hospital where he once worked. According to police, he kept records of who he killed in a diary. He also confessed to the killings when confronted. His activity was allegedly discovered and reported, although releases do not say how this happened.

Poppe allegedly killed his victims using fatal doses of insulin or by smothering them while working in the Hospital du Sacre-Coeur Menin. Although euthanasia is legal in Belgium, there is no evidence any of his victims requested the procedure.

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Lawyers for the accused say he was motivated by compassion when he carried out the murders. Police think he was merely a serial killer, using the hospital as cover for this crimes.

Poppe is also a married father of three grown children. He worked in the hospital from 1980 until 2002 when he became a deacon in the Catholic Church. He continued to visit the hospital during his time as a deacon, but it is unclear if he killed anyone while serving as a deacon.

His mental condition is now being evaluated by psychologists as a prelude to trial.

His bishop, Bishop Jozef De Kesel said, "We can only condemn and deplore the matters with which he has been charged. We sympathize with the families of the victims who have been left with many questions and uncertainty."

Catholic Ireland reported that a spokesperson for the diocese said "Euthanasia and deacon: these are two words which do not belong together in the same sentence."

Euthanasia in Belgium is legal. Recent surveys suggested that at least half of all euthanasia deaths aren't even reported by doctors, they just perform them and carry on.

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