POLITICAL observations & opinions

* two pleasant looking fellows who belong behind bars … both Cardinal Danneels and Bishop Vangheluwe have now publicly admitted to their crimes of sexual abuse and coverup … will they be prosecuted?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2010

Cardinal Danneels & Bishop Vangheluwe ... partners in crime

AP reports (8/30/10) …

The former head of Belgium’s Roman Catholic Church said Monday that he should not have suggested to a victim of serial sexual abuse that he say nothing publicly about the episode until after the retirement of the offending bishop, who is the victim’s uncle. Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who retired in January, was secretly taped making that suggestion by the victim on April 8, when they both met with the bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, who retired within two weeks of the meeting. Excerpts of the tape were published in two Belgian newspapers over the weekend. Cardinal Danneels’s spokesman, Toon Osaer, said Monday that the cardinal “realizes that the whole approach, as it was, was not the right one,” and that he was unprepared for the April meeting, calling his conduct there “an improvisation.” But the cardinal also said he regretted that the confidential meeting had been made public by the victim, who is now 42 years old.


It seems to me that both Cardinal Danneels and Bishop Vangheluwe have now publicly admitted to the crime of obstruction of justice. In addition, of course, the Bishop has admitted the underlying sexual abuse. It further seems likely that the Cardinal knew of the Bishop’s despicable behavior long before the April 8 meeting.

Is there a Belgian prosecutor with the courage to bring charges?

If Cardinals and Bishops start showing up behind bars, there will (finally) be real incentive for the Catholic Church to make meaningful reforms, including mandatory reporting to police of any charges of sexual abuse made by their parishioners.



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