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Old 06-28-2010, 12:53 PM  
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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Pope chastises Belgian authorities over raids

Benedict says police used 'surprising and deplorable methods' when they raided church offices, detained a group of bishops and drilled into tombs in a quest for evidence of sexual abuse.

Reporting from Rome — Pope Benedict XVI lashed out Sunday at Belgian authorities investigating allegations of clerical sexual abuse, accusing police of using "surprising and deplorable methods" when they raided church offices, detained a group of bishops for several hours and drilled into the tombs of two former cardinals in a quest for evidence.

The pope's statement also reaffirmed the Vatican's insistence on having a role in investigating abuses within the church, saying "such grave facts should be dealt with by civil and canonical authorities each respecting its own competence."

The raids in Belgium occurred last week and came in response to what prosecutors in Brussels described as a string of accusations of pedophilia within the Roman Catholic hierarchy in that country. The targets of the investigation included a former archbishop, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, whose home and former office were searched, and his personal computer confiscated.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,3826492.story
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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Ok I'm probably going to be ripped for picking on the church again, but what I find deplorable is the continued actions of the church, in particular its head Pope Benedict XVI. How far do you have to stick your head in the sand to admit there's a problem. How heinous a crime does it have to be before they admit its a criminal problem and not a matter for an internal church investigation. The church has lost any semblence of credibility in being able to police its own. Sending pedofiles off to another church so they can repeat their actions is not policing their own. To top it off, as Archbishop of Munich the future pope was guilty of the same policies that he publically abhored in allowing the resignation of an Irish Archbishop. Hypocrite who doesn't understand that its more important to protect the children over the reputation of the church.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
Ok I'm probably going to be ripped for picking on the church again, but what I find deplorable is the continued actions of the church, in particular its head Pope Benedict XVI. How far do you have to stick your head in the sand to admit there's a problem. How heinous a crime does it have to be before they admit its a criminal problem and not a matter for an internal church investigation. The church has lost any semblence of credibility in being able to police its own. Sending pedofiles off to another church so they can repeat their actions is not policing their own. To top it off, as Archbishop of Munich the future pope was guilty of the same policies that he publically abhored in allowing the resignation of an Irish Archbishop. Hypocrite who doesn't understand that its more important to protect the children over the reputation of the church.
You're building a strawman here. The Church doesn't take the position that civil authorities have no business investigating these alleged acts as crimes. They take the position that the state should do it's own work rather than bust down doors of retired clergymen to see what the church's investigations have uncovered. This kind of over-reach will tend to cause the Church to stick it's head in the sand in the same way that sunshine laws have caused high government officials in the US to eschew the use of efficient forms of communication like email.

The Church is in the business of saving souls, not acting as an arm of the state for the purpose of enforcing criminal laws.
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
You're building a strawman here. The Church doesn't take the position that civil authorities have no business investigating these alleged acts as crimes. They take the position that the state should do it's own work rather than bust down doors of retired clergymen to see what the church's investigations have uncovered. This kind of over-reach will tend to cause the Church to stick it's head in the sand in the same way that sunshine laws have caused high government officials in the US to eschew the use of efficient forms of communication like email.

The Church is in the business of saving souls, not acting as an arm of the state for the purpose of enforcing criminal laws.
I didn't get this impression from reading the article. Can you quote the part which gives you this impression?

I'm not sure why they would raid graves either unless they had some information that things would be buried with them.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
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I didn't get this impression from reading the article. Can you quote the part which gives you this impression?

I'm not sure why they would raid graves either unless they had some information that things would be buried with them.
Here is the article:

Quote:
Reporting from Rome — Pope Benedict XVI lashed out Sunday at Belgian authorities investigating allegations of clerical sexual abuse, accusing police of using "surprising and deplorable methods" when they raided church offices, detained a group of bishops for several hours and drilled into the tombs of two former cardinals in a quest for evidence.

The pope's statement also reaffirmed the Vatican's insistence on having a role in investigating abuses within the church, saying "such grave facts should be dealt with by civil and canonical authorities each respecting its own competence."

The raids in Belgium occurred last week and came in response to what prosecutors in Brussels described as a string of accusations of pedophilia within the Roman Catholic hierarchy in that country. The targets of the investigation included a former archbishop, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, whose home and former office were searched, and his personal computer confiscated.

Prosecutors did not say whether Danneels was suspected of abuse. They also confiscated the files of an arm's-length committee established by the Belgian church to hear allegations of abuse against priests.

The Vatican condemned what it said was a violation of the privacy of victims who had come forward to give evidence to the committee.


Police also searched the current archbishop's residence in Brussels, where the country's bishops had gathered for a regular meeting. The bishops' cellphones were taken away during the raid, prompting Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of State and No. 2 official, to label their nine-hour detention "unbelievable," saying such tactics exceeded those used by "communist regimes."

Church officials expressed particular indignation at what they called the violation of the tombs of two deceased archbishops. Prosecutors said they opened the graves to look for any incriminating documents. Msgr. Andre-Joseph Leonard, the current archbishop, likened the raid to fictional scenes in the "Da Vinci Code" novel.

The Belgian church has been caught in the deluge of sexual abuse scandals sweeping the Catholic Church in Europe. In April, Roger Vangheluwe, Belgium's longest-serving bishop, resigned after admitting he had sexually abused a boy for several years.
They weren't looking for forensic evidence from suspected abusers, they were looking for church documentation. They wanted to know what the church had determined from it's investigations, including those discoveries made in interviews with people who had an expectation of privacy and who otherwise might not have provided the information in the first place.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
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The Disgrace of Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic Church

This past week, Belgian police raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Belgian, as well as the home and office of recently retired Archbishop Godfried Danneels, during an investigation into the sexual abuse of children.

Rorate Caeli provides the full text of Pope Benedict’s letter to Abp. André Joseph Léonard, Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels and President of the Belgian Episcopal Conference, responding to the unfortunate series of events:
I wish to express to you, dear Brother in the Episcopate, as well as to all Bishops of Belgium, my closeness and my solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, searches were carried out in Mechlin Cathedral and in places where the Belgian Episcopate were assembled in plenary session. During that meeting, aspects related to the abuse of minors by members of the clergy were to have been treated, among other things. I have myself repeated numerous times that these grave facts should be treated by the civil order and by the canonical order in reciprocal respect for the specificity and autonomy of each one. In this sense, I wish that justice will follow its course, ensuring the rights of persons and institutions, in respect for victims, with the recognition, without prejudices, of those who wish to collaborate with it and with the refusal of everything that could darken the noble duties that are ascribed to it.
As Rorate Caeli notes, there is a “one-sideness” and “tone-deafness” to the papal remarks. The impression is exacerbated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, who characterized the Belgian police’s raid as “a kidnapping, a grave and inconceivable fact”, having “no precedent even in communist regimes.”

However, a report from the Flemish De Standard casts light on the investigation of the tombs. English translation via Google, so pardon the choppiness (HT again: Rorate Caeli):
“There are traces of tampering can be seen around the tomb of Cardinal Leo Suenens. Maybe that aroused the attention of police. Suenens was buried in 1996. The cardinal should nevertheless very prescient than to have hidden files. “

Local television to watch the officers walked inside the cathedral Thursday with crowbar and hammer drill. That fueled rumors that they broke open tombs in the crypt. The Vatican yesterday expressed outrage at the “desecration by the Belgian judicial authorities.”

“Well, desecration,” says the guide. ‘Investigators have two holes drilled in the wall that separates the two burial niches in the outside world. Behind it are a dozen boxes. Through those holes, they looked around with a camera, but found nothing. Can you call that sacrilege? Maybe they also want to break into boxes. But when you consider who it is, do you think twice[?]“
Meanwhile, the National Catholic Reporter translates a La Stampa interview with Fr. Rik Devillè, a retired Belgian priest and anti-pedophilia crusader:
The Belgian church instituted its own commission to investigate charges of abuse, the Adriaenssens Commission. Is that not enough?

The problem was its connection with the Archdiocese, and the absence of either a lay component internally or a connection with the civil authorities. I always hoped that a truly independent commission would be formed, an organism whose objective was to help justice take its course. That must be the way. It’s not up to the church to decide who violated the law and who should be punished.

Do you believe that Belgium is a special case? Or is the plague of sexual abuse by clergy a common evil?

It happens everywhere, believe me. Belgium believed itself to be an exception because no case ever came to light. Yet as early as 1994, I had collected 82 accusations. The victims wanted to be heard by the church, they wanted to break the curse. It’s been useless, at least up to now.

You have said that you spoke with Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the former primate of the Belgian church, but he says he doesn’t remember.

I spoke with him about my files on two occasions, in the first half of the 1990s. I advised him of the problem, and I don’t know what he did afterwards. On one occasion, however, I remember that the cardinal became angry. He said this wasn’t my job and that I should stay out of it.

Do you think he said that to hide something?

The bishops have a long history over their shoulders of silence and omissions. They protect the guilty, and not the victims.
The conservative blog Brussels Journal has a must-read account by Alexandra Colen, homeschooling mother and Member of the Belgian Parliament for Antwerp, on Catholic life during the reign of Cardinal Danneels:
Since the revelation in April that Cardinal Danneels’s close friend and collaborator, Mgr Roger Vangheluwe, the Bishop of Bruges, had been a practicing pedophile throughout, and even before, his career as a bishop, victims have gained confidence that they will be taken seriously, and complaints have been pouring in, both to the courts and to the extra-judicial investigation committee of the archdiocese. The new archbishop Mgr. André-Joseph Léonard, has urged victims to take their case to the courts.

His predecessor, the liberal Cardinal Danneels, who was very popular with the press in Belgium and abroad, was Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium from 1979 until 2010. The sympathy for pedophile attitudes and arguments among the Belgian bishops during this period was no secret, especially since 1997 when the fierce controversy about the catechism textbook Roeach made the headlines. The editors of Roeach were Prof. Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Prof. Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges. The textbook contained a drawing which showed a naked baby girl [which describes the genital stimulation of toddlers as "good fun"].

I told Cardinal Danneels that, although I was a member of Parliament for the Flemish-secessionist party Vlaams Blok, I was addressing him as a Catholic parent “who wishes to remain faithful to the papal authority and also wishes to educate her children this way.” I insisted that he forbid the use of this book in the catechism lessons: “This is why I insist – yes, the days of meekly asking are over – that you forbid the use of this ‘catechism book’ in our children’s classrooms.”

Today this case, that dates from 12 years ago, assumes a new and ominous significance. Especially now that I know that Mgr Roger Vangheluwe, the pedophile child molesting Bishop of Bruges, was the supervising bishop of both institutions – the Catholic University of Leuven and the Seminary of Bruges – whence came the editors in chief of this perverted “catechism” textbook.

Monsignor Vangheluwe not only entertained pedophile ideas, but also practiced them on his 11-year old nephew. Hundreds of children who were not raped physically were molested spiritually during the catechism lessons.

After I started my campaign against the Roeach textbook, many parents contacted me to voice their concerns. Stories of other practices in the Catholic education system poured in. There were schools where children were taught to put condoms over artificial penises and where they had to watch videos showing techniques of masturbation and copulation.

Because Cardinal Danneels refused to respond to requests to put an end to these practices, I and hundreds of concerned parents gathered in front of his palace on 15 October 1997. We carried placards with the text “Respect for parents and children,” and we said the rosary. Cardinal Danneels refused to receive a delegation of the demonstrators. “I shall not be pressured,” he said in the libertine magazine Humo on 21 October 1997. The Archbishop’s door remained closed …
Those expressing frustration over the impertinence of the Belgian police’s raid are encouraged to read the accounts of Alexandra Colen and Fr. Rik Devillè.

Finally, Michael Liccione (Sacramentum Vitae) asks the question:
Cardinal Danneels was, himself, enabled to enable the problems for three decades. What makes it so astonishing is that … the problems were public knowledge for much of that time. So how did he get away with it?
http://the-american-catholic.com/201...tholic-church/

Last edited by orange; 06-29-2010 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:47 AM   #7
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Alexandra Colen sounds like a loon. Maybe it's just the choppy translation.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:47 AM   #8
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Pope Rebukes Prominent Austrian Cardinal

By STACY MEICHTRY And JOHN W. MILLER

Pope Benedict XVI sought to quell discord within church ranks Monday, publicly scolding a prominent cardinal who criticized the Vatican's handling of sex-abuse cases under Pope John Paul II.

In a statement, the Vatican said Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, met with the pope in the Vatican to "clarify" critical remarks he recently made about Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals and the Vatican's former No. 2 official.

In April, Cardinal Schoenborn told Austrian media that, during the 1990s, Cardinal Sodano blocked attempts by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, to spur a Vatican investigation into sex-abuse allegations against a top church official in Austria.

Cardinal Schoenborn also had called Cardinal Sodano to task for referring to the sex-abuse scandal as "petty gossip" in a recent Easter Sunday address to the pope in St. Peter's Square.

"Leveling accusations at a cardinal is a competency that lies soley with the pope," the Vatican said in a statement. Cardinal Schoenborn "expressed regret" to Cardinal Sodano for the way his comments were interpreted by the media, the Vatican said. The statement didn't say how Cardinal Schoenborn clarified the meaning of his statements.

Meanwhile, members of a truth commission on sex crimes set up by the Belgian Catholic church resigned Monday after police seized their files last week. Raids by Belgian police on church property set off a diplomatic storm, with Pope Benedict XVI lashing out at Belgian authorities over the weekend.

The dozen or so members of the commission "don't want to be competing with the law," said Eric de Beukelaer, a spokesman for the Belgian bishops. "We have confidence in the work of the justice system."

Peter Adriaenssens, the child psychologist chairing the commission, was called as a witness by prosecutors on Monday afternoon.

Belgium has no law mandating that church authorities report crimes by clergy.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...691049044.html
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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Alexandra Colen sounds like a loon. Maybe it's just the choppy translation.
Because she objects to "the genital stimulation of toddlers as "good fun"?"
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Here is the article:



They weren't looking for forensic evidence from suspected abusers, they were looking for church documentation. They wanted to know what the church had determined from it's investigations, including those discoveries made in interviews with people who had an expectation of privacy and who otherwise might not have provided the information in the first place.
It looks like what you said was accurate but to the point of the underlined:

What other organization can say they're investigating the sexual abuse of minors internally and ask the cops not interfere?

I can't think of one.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by orange View Post
Pope Rebukes Prominent Austrian Cardinal

By STACY MEICHTRY And JOHN W. MILLER

Pope Benedict XVI sought to quell discord within church ranks Monday, publicly scolding a prominent cardinal who criticized the Vatican's handling of sex-abuse cases under Pope John Paul II.

In a statement, the Vatican said Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, met with the pope in the Vatican to "clarify" critical remarks he recently made about Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals and the Vatican's former No. 2 official.

In April, Cardinal Schoenborn told Austrian media that, during the 1990s, Cardinal Sodano blocked attempts by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, to spur a Vatican investigation into sex-abuse allegations against a top church official in Austria.

Cardinal Schoenborn also had called Cardinal Sodano to task for referring to the sex-abuse scandal as "petty gossip" in a recent Easter Sunday address to the pope in St. Peter's Square.

"Leveling accusations at a cardinal is a competency that lies soley with the pope," the Vatican said in a statement. Cardinal Schoenborn "expressed regret" to Cardinal Sodano for the way his comments were interpreted by the media, the Vatican said. The statement didn't say how Cardinal Schoenborn clarified the meaning of his statements.

Meanwhile, members of a truth commission on sex crimes set up by the Belgian Catholic church resigned Monday after police seized their files last week. Raids by Belgian police on church property set off a diplomatic storm, with Pope Benedict XVI lashing out at Belgian authorities over the weekend.

The dozen or so members of the commission "don't want to be competing with the law," said Eric de Beukelaer, a spokesman for the Belgian bishops. "We have confidence in the work of the justice system."

Peter Adriaenssens, the child psychologist chairing the commission, was called as a witness by prosecutors on Monday afternoon.

Belgium has no law mandating that church authorities report crimes by clergy.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...691049044.html
Just as I predicted, these raids have encouraged the Church to take an "it's not in our interest to find out what happened" attitude, at least in that locale. Great job, Belgium.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:57 PM   #12
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Because she objects to "the genital stimulation of toddlers as "good fun"?"
Because her story sounds preposterous enough that I can't possibly believe it without seeing actual supporting evidence.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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It looks like what you said was accurate but to the point of the underlined:

What other organization can say they're investigating the sexual abuse of minors internally and ask the cops not interfere?

I can't think of one.
Lawyers. Psychiatrists.
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:54 PM   #14
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Because her story sounds preposterous enough that I can't possibly believe it without seeing actual supporting evidence.
Straight from The Brussels Journal (The Voice of Conservatism in Europe):

His predecessor, the liberal Cardinal Danneels, who was very popular with the press in Belgium and abroad, was Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium from 1979 until 2010. The sympathy for pedophile attitudes and arguments among the Belgian bishops during this period was no secret, especially since 1997 when the fierce controversy about the catechism textbook Roeach made the headlines. The editors of Roeach were Prof. Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Prof. Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges. The textbook contained a drawing which showed a naked baby girl saying: “Stroking my pussy makes me feel groovy,” “I like to take my knickers off with friends,” “I want to be in the room when mum and dad have sex.” The drawing also shows a naked little boy and girl that are “playing doctor” and the little boy says: “Look, my willy is big.”



The drawing also showed three pairs of parents. Those with the “correct” attitude reply: “Yes, feeling and stroking those little places is good fun.” This “catechism textbook” was used in the catechism lessons in the catholic schools, until one day I discovered it among the schoolbooks of my eldest daughter, then 13 years old. On 3 September 1997 I wrote a letter to Cardinal Danneels, saying:

“When I see this drawing and its message, I get the distinct impression that this catechism textbook is designed intentionally to make 13 and 14 year olds believe that toddlers enjoy genital stimulation. In this way one breeds pedophiles that sincerely believe that children actually think that what they are doing to them is ‘groovy’, while the opposite is the case.”


http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4471


Now, far be it from ME to suggest that a Conservative website would post lies - especially when they're so easily checked out.

p.s. I wonder what the fourth blurb says. It must not be controversial.
p.p.s GOOGLE comes up with "I feel blessed pee"

Last edited by orange; 06-29-2010 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
Straight from The Brussels Journal (The Voice of Conservatism in Europe):

His predecessor, the liberal Cardinal Danneels, who was very popular with the press in Belgium and abroad, was Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium from 1979 until 2010. The sympathy for pedophile attitudes and arguments among the Belgian bishops during this period was no secret, especially since 1997 when the fierce controversy about the catechism textbook Roeach made the headlines. The editors of Roeach were Prof. Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Prof. Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges. The textbook contained a drawing which showed a naked baby girl saying: “Stroking my pussy makes me feel groovy,” “I like to take my knickers off with friends,” “I want to be in the room when mum and dad have sex.” The drawing also shows a naked little boy and girl that are “playing doctor” and the little boy says: “Look, my willy is big.”



The drawing also showed three pairs of parents. Those with the “correct” attitude reply: “Yes, feeling and stroking those little places is good fun.” This “catechism textbook” was used in the catechism lessons in the catholic schools, until one day I discovered it among the schoolbooks of my eldest daughter, then 13 years old. On 3 September 1997 I wrote a letter to Cardinal Danneels, saying:

“When I see this drawing and its message, I get the distinct impression that this catechism textbook is designed intentionally to make 13 and 14 year olds believe that toddlers enjoy genital stimulation. In this way one breeds pedophiles that sincerely believe that children actually think that what they are doing to them is ‘groovy’, while the opposite is the case.”


http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4471


Now, far be it from ME to suggest that a Conservative website would post lies - especially when they're so easily checked out.
The lie appears to be the implication that this was a textbook teaching pedophilia when what it really seems to be is a lesson about dealing with youngsters who are discovering their own sexual parts.

I suppose you'd be happier if people were being taught to scold kids for these discoveries and make them feel dirty/bad for this natural curiosity.

Thanks for posting this and confirming my suspicion about Colen.
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