Belgian cardinal offered to hush up sex case, Belgian sex abuse tapes
August 30, 2010 Comments Off on Belgian cardinal offered to hush up sex case, Belgian sex abuse tapes
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Belgian cardinal offered to hush up sex case (AP) – 8/28/10
BRUSSELS — Roman Catholic Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium offered to keep a sexual molestation case against a bishop secret until the bishop retired, an official said Saturday. Toon Osaer, Danneels’ spokesman, confirmed a report in Saturday’s De Standaard newspaper about a secretly taped meeting that Danneels held on April 8 with Belgian Bishop Roger Vangheluwe and the bishop’s sexual abuse victim.
Osaer told the VRT television and radio network that Danneels told the victim the case against Vangheluwe could be kept quiet until the bishop retired as scheduled a year later. In the end, Vangheluwe resigned two weeks after the meeting, expressing sorrow for having abused the victim as a youngster for years, both while serving as a priest and a bishop. Danneels retired as head of the Belgian Catholic church in January. But police later questioned him as a potential witness in the case and raided his home and office, confiscating documents and a personal computer. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jELcVrb_-jrRarOc1Ps2E7AmKY8wD9HSJ4FG0
Belgian sex abuse tapes amplify Catholic scandals Sun Aug 29, 2010
PARIS (Reuters) – Leaked tapes of Belgium’s Cardinal Godfried Danneels urging a victim not to reveal he was sexually abused by a bishop are some of the most damaging documents to emerge in the scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church.
The tapes, made secretly by the victim and published in two Belgian newspapers on Saturday, show the former primate of Belgium exhorting him to accept a private apology or wait one year until the bishop retired before making his case public.
Their meeting took place on April 8, at a time when the Vatican was under fire for allegedly covering up similar abuse cases by priests in other countries and shocking abuse claims dominated the news in several European states.
A spokesman for Danneels denied the once popular archbishop of Brussels wanted to cover up the case, which led to the sudden resignation of Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, 73, later that month, but the tapes show him arguing firmly for silence.
Belgian Church spokesman Jurgen Mettepenningen confirmed to Reuters that the transcripts in the Flemish dailies De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad were genuine.