Mark Vangheluwe / Mark Vangheluwe – A Letter to the Pope

Mark Vangheluwe – A Letter to the Pope

Mark Vangheluwe – A Letter to the Pope

Read a sample translation of A Letter to the Pope


About the book

After suffering years of sexual abuse at the hands of his ‘Uncle Bishop’, Mark Vangheluwe decided to take a stand and break the silence. In 2010 he exposed one of the largest scandals within the Roman Catholic Church to date, unleashing a media storm that grabbed headlines around the world.

In the meantime he and his family lead a quiet life in a remote corner of Flanders, though shame and fear continue to torment him. Until the moment he comes to the realization that he can determine the course of his life and finds the words and form to do so: a letter to the Pope.

‘He had me in a lethal stranglehold, to the point that I nearly suffocated. He took possession of my body and spirit. I could not breathe, slowly but surely I suffocated under his stinking, hairy, greasy body. I simply endured it, and shut myself off from the outside world.’

'A Letter to the Pope' is more than your typical victim’s book, more than a painful account of the injustice that was done to him. Vangheluwe’s story stands out for its depth, its nuance and for the wealth of its language. The idiom is Catholic through and through. It shows that Vangheluwe was not just betrayed by his uncle bishop, but by his entire world, which was dictated by the Church and God. **** - DE VOLKSKRANT

It is an especially gripping book, not only because of the powerlessness of the young victim against his criminal abuser, but also because of the book’s extraordinary and exceptional literary construction….And its style is universal: more than a translation, it deserves the broadest possible readership across the Catholic world. - KRANT VAN WEST-VLAANDEREN

A book that leaves you gasping for air. - DE LIMBURGER


Mark Vangheluwe (1968) is a sculptor and photographer. He lives and works in Flanders.

Additional book information

  • Memoir
  • ISBN 9789023449720
  • Number of pages: 230
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 21,99
  • English sample available