BRUSSELS – The former Belgian bishop who resigned in April after admitting he sexually abused a nephew for years said Saturday he would go into hiding to assess his future, despite calls for him to leave the church immediately.

Roger Vangheluwe said in a statement he will immediately leave an abbey in his bishopry of Bruges, where he has been staying since his April 23 resignation. His bishopry has urged him to seek another place to live, and victims of sexual abuse by clergy as well as a prominent senator have called on him to leave the church as an institution.

Vangheluwe said that “as of today, I will contemplate my life and future somewhere hidden, outside the bishopry of Bruges.”

His April admission triggered a huge crisis in the Belgian Roman Catholic Church. On Friday, a commission presented a report of hundreds of sex abuse victims over the past half century with harrowing accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy that reportedly led to at least 13 suicides.

Vangheluwe had been Belgium’s longest-serving bishop when he resigned, one year shy of retirement. The scandal acerbated when secret tapes of a discussion between the former head of the Belgian church, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, and the victim showed the cardinal wanted to keep the scandal secret until the bishop retired.

On Saturday, Vangheluwe again admitted guilt and asked for forgiveness “to our church, to society, and all people marked by the suffering.”

Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard said he will present a new initiative Monday on how to deal with cases of abuse, prevent further abuse and help victims seek closure. Danneels, Leonard’s predecessor, has acknowledged that damage control often took precedence in Belgium over concerns for victims in sexual abuse cases involving clergy.