Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Belgian Cardinal Attempted to Secure Silence on Abuse

The church has been protesting vigorously that the scandal of sexual abuse is mostly about past history, that for the most part, past failings have been corrected and appropriate procedures are now in place. To some extent this is true -  but some degree of episcopal cover-up clearly continues.

In April this year, the Belgian Bishop Roger Vangheluwe admitted to sexual abuse, and resigned. Shortly before this, the then head of the Belgian Church, Cardinal Daneels, tried to persuade the victim from going public with his allegations until after Vangheluwe's resignation.

From BBC News, Aug 28:

The former head of the Catholic Church in Belgium tried to stop a victim of sex abuse from going public with their story, Church officials have confirmed.
During a meeting in April, Cardinal Godfried Danneels advised the victim to delay a public statement until the bishop who abused him had retired.
Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who was also at the meeting, admitted to the abuse in April and resigned.
The victim recorded the meeting, and released the tape to Belgian media.

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