The Disgrace of Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic Church

Sunday, June 27, AD 2010

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,

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21 Responses to The Disgrace of Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic Church

  • And there are still many people that “pooh-pooh” pointing out the wrongs of our bishops.

    Well I’m glad I never listen to their crocodile crying.

  • “Those expressing frustration over the impertinence of the Belgian police’s raid…” include the pope!! This is truly horrifying to me.

  • This is the particularly disturbing in light of Danneels having been considered papabile in some circles. We certainly have the Holy Spirit to thank that we don’t have someone so obviously tainted at the healm at this time.

    On the Vatican response — their press office is pretty notoriously amateur. I wonder if they responded to the accounts in the populat press on the first day without actually having looked into the details first.

  • So these sorts of statements released with the pope’s “signature” are routinely not written by the pope himself?

  • I reread the entire article over at The Brussels Journal.

    Cardinal Danneels disgusts me almost as much as Weakland did.

    Cardinal Danneels should be handcuffed and taken into custody until a trial date is set for his cover-up of the sickness inside the Belgian Catholic Church.

  • This looks like an absolutely horrible mess, far worse than the scandala in Ireland and the US. I can understand how a kid who went through this grows up with an implacable hatred of the Catholic Church. It appears that Cdl Danneels and his band of brothers were allowed to get away with it for so long precisely because they were part of the liberal establishment. All too often these prelates, instead exercising close pastoral care and supervision of the spiritual life of Catholics, spend their time holding forth on matters of peripheral concern such as Israel and immigration. I suppose this is the preferred way to ease their conscience. Cdl Danneels is famous for allowing Muslims free rein on Catholic property.

  • Cardinal Danneels used his standing as the prelate of Belgium to push for his most extreme liberal causes at the expense of the souls he was suppose to shepherd.

    This should be a warning to Cardinal George, O’Malley, and the rest of the liberal cabal at the USCCB that they need to heed the spiritual needs of their flock instead of pushing the Democratic Party agenda and warming up to Teddy, Nancy, and John Kerry.

    This disgusts me to no end.

  • This is a pissing contest between the Belgian liberals and the conservatives. Obviously this was part of a sex education program instituted by Daneels to be au currant with other European nations. If yoyu’ve not seen some of the things that is being taught to 13 year olds in ‘secular’ education, it would make you wretch. However I noticed that this article omits the last paragraph from the Journals article which expressed the responses from other Cardinal prelates around the Globe on such a course.

    “I received letters of support from cardinals from all parts of the globe. “I share your concern. It is important that you do not leave the matter uncontested,” wrote Cardinal Meisner of Cologne; “You have good reasons to be concerned,” wrote Cardinal Wamala of Uganda; “I feel strongly enough to write to Cardinal Danneels in the hope that he may enlighten me,” wrote Cardinal Vidal of the Philippines; “If I have the opportunity to discuss with Cardinal Danneels the matter you have drawn to my attention, I will do so,” wrote Cardinal Williams of New Zealand; “I shall try to do something in order to help you,” wrote Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo; “I am aware that your concerns have been brought to the attention of Cardinal Laghi, Prefect for the Congregation for Catholic Education,” wrote Cardinal O’Connor of New York.”

    None of this mitigates due process or even begins to construe a legal linkage between the abuse cases and sex education courses. If so, American courts will be extremely busy in the future.

  • Robert C.,

    I read the same article and my question is, did those bishops and cardinals follow up those letters of support by contacting Cardinal Danneels and investigating these allegations.

    Regardless, if this is true, Cardinal Danneels should be scrutinized with a thorough investigation of his memoirs.

  • Danneels is clearly much at fault here, and I would imagine that at the very least he’ll end up like Law.

    At the same time, as I think about it, the search of the crypt remains a pretty over-the-top act. I mean, seriously: outside of a Dan Brown novel who is going to be hiding incriminating documents in the crypt of a dead bishop? If you want to get rid of incriminating documents, the obvious thing would be to get rid of them not bury them in a place which would result in the maximum possible scandal if they were found there. (If the shredder is un-handy, I believe that a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the leopard” is traditional.)

    While having no interest in cushioning Danneels’ long overdue fall from grace, it seems fairly reasonable of Rome to be upset over the crypt opening — even if it was only drilling a couple holes and peeking around with a camera.

  • Raiding the tombs is absolutely over the top.

    As one Vatican observer said, not even during the communist era did such acts occur.

  • Exactly correct, Darwin.

    I do think people need to support a proper investigation if there are justified reasons for it; on the other hand, I do not think that allows extreme police-state like tactics.

  • “not even during the communist era…”

    Wrong.

    Much worse happened in the communist era, and continues to happen under communism today, but the Vatican ignores it.

    Churches and shrines are routinely bulldozed in communist China and in Vietnam. Tombs mean nothing to them.

    Why does the Vatican ignore the millions of Catholics put to death by communism?

  • Come now, is the entire clergy abuse scandal really the fault of “liberal” bishops? Worldwide? Seems to me there has been plenty of scandal to go around.

    Certainly, the protectors of perps like Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado were not hardly the liberation theology types, including the past Bishop of Rome.

    The problem is an old-boy network of fraternal pandering and protection, not unlike what was often seen in groups like Freemasonry and the Mafia.

  • RSG,

    including the past Bishop of Rome.

    Yes, anti-Catholic bigots are a dime a dozen.

    Thanks for that bit of nawlidge.

  • The paedophile clerics and their friends in the Belgian Church hawe sown the wind, now their reap the storm, their reward. I hope the police will investigate them carefully in minute details and jail them with harsh sentences.
    Their fellows in the US will take their turn soon.
    I am sorry for the Pope and for Card. Bertone.
    The Pope may err in that issue: The pontifical infallibility doesn’t stretch up to protect these criminals, even if our Holy Father haas but a few responsibility in the laissez-faire which was the policy of his predecessors.
    There is an URGENT need to sweep and clean vigorously the Temple of God. The door is wide open to push these evil men out.

  • Fr. Marciel was pathological. He used the Church and his alleged orthodoxy as cover for his pathology but never sought to change the Church into his sad image. Clerics who promoted catechisms like those noted in the links were trying to change the Church to advance their pathologies. Quite a difference.

  • The church will fight the homosexual paederasty that has pushed its liberal agenda for too long under a false interpretation of Vatican II. The liberal mafia must be identified and cast out from wherever it has infested the Church.

    This is battle royal.

    Support the Holy Father.

    The church is fully aware of the persecution and murder of Catholics around the World. See ACT (Action for the Church in Need)

  • The Patriarch of the West, The Pope is infallable on faith & morals but on issues like homosexual pedophila John 23, Paul 6 & John Paul 2 will have a lot to answer for in that horrible day they face G-D. Under their regimes liberal-socialist theology and a cabal of homosexual priests, lesbian nuns, and queer monks were given free reign and grew worldwide. The denigration of the 16oo yr old divine liturgy (Mass) liberation theology perverted seminaries since the ambiguous pastoral council called vatican 2 was the crack in the wall liberal socialists had been looking for, for the last 100 years. They found it in john 23rd aggoriomento. Even the socialist pope Paul 6th finally admitted the stench of satan had entered the church,(with the help of the above hierarchs).It is up to this good and holy Pope Benedict 16th to mop up the mess of these previous Popes.

  • Millions voted by walking out of the Catholic church in the years since Vatican 2 (rightly or wrongly). What was Holy & Sacred prior to this council suddenly became profane & illegal and anyone who dared to attend the ancient liturgy or question a liberal parish priest were ridiculed and shunned as fanatics. When in fact the real fanatics were the socialist, liberals aka “usefull” idiots liberal periti and “theologists” like Kung, hierarchs like weakland, mahoney,Brown,Gumbleton,Daneel, law & suenan not to mention the author of the venacular service called the novus ordo missae the freemason Archbishop annabal bugnini.

  • In a parting thought I will predict, since I’m NO prophet that the so-called Liberal branch (infestation) in the Catholic church will go the way of the Anglican schismatics, the american & Canadian episcopals and the heretical church of Horny Henry 8th, the so-called church of England.

Police Raid Tombs of Dead Bishops in Belgium

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

Video Update at the bottom of this post.

Police raided and disturbed the tombs and graves of Belgium’s bishops searching for sex abuse cover ups.  While the police raided the tombs, they also shut down a bishops conference and held those bishops hostage for several hours.  Cutting off phone lines and all other forms of communication during their nationwide harassment of bishops in Belgium.

What makes this situation worse is that they also confiscated all of the Belgium’s bishops commission on these sex abuse cover up where victims gave confidential statements expecting discretion.

This is nothing more than anti-Catholic activities sanctioned at the state level.

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7 Responses to Police Raid Tombs of Dead Bishops in Belgium

  • I hope the persecution results in a better Church.

    She needs to understand that the abuse scandal is only one of her wrongs.

    May her humiliation continue, so she looks inward to see how hurtfully she treats those who love her and actively supports those who do great harm within the Catholic Church.

    The “teacher” needs to control the class. She cannot simply disseminate information while predatory classmates persecute, terribly, others among them, who continually ask the “teacher” for help and are ignored.

    Sorry, but Catholicism is in trouble, deeply, and needs far more than a superficial “reform of the reform”.

  • Karl,

    I agree with you on all points, except that the “Reform of the Reform” isn’t superficial.

    Though what suggestions would you add in order to clean the Church of the Smoke of Satan?

  • Tito,

    I have a tendency for the one-note symphony which I would rather not play here.

    I would simply say that much reform is needed regarding marriage, both in canon law and in pastoral applications and how they interact.

  • Karl,

    May I suggest tribunals staffed by lay people to put the spotlight on heretical priests, bishops, and other wayward Catholics in the public sphere.

    In order to bring attention to our bishops and the Vatican who not to promote to be a bishop and who to bring to early retirement.

  • That presumes the integrity of laity over the integrity of the clergy. I trust neither, based upon personal experience.

    The Holy Father already knows what is going on.

    I wish the solution(s) were simple. They are not.

    One thing I have learned in this journey is that, the most depraved and uncaring behavior is at the disposal of the holiest, most disciplined person with the confluence of the “right” circumstances.

    Annulments, although, clearly justified, in theory, are a nightmare of complexities, canonically and pastorally.

  • Belgium’s police raids were perfectly legitimate. Everyone who is genuinely opposed to the rape of children supports them.

  • That must not include most liberal homosexuals. 😉

Belgium: Cardinal Danneels Home Raided In Sexual Abuse Investigation

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

Godfried Cardinal Danneels home was raided in Belgium by police searching for evidence in the sexual abuse of children.  Belgium police also raided the offices of the Archbishop of Brussels, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard.  This came on the heels of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe’s abrupt resignation after admitting to homosexual relations with a boy this past April.

Cardinal Danneels is well known as creative in his interpretations on Church teachings.  Cardinal Danneels participated in writing Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document which influenced the complete rewriting of the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council.  Which in turned fueled the liturgical abuse that most Catholic in the West are still being exposed to.

Under his watch as prelate of Belgium, a once devout and vibrant Catholic country, Belgium’s Catholic faith has been all but eliminated.  Abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual unions have been legalized under his watch.  In addition church attendance and religious/secular vocations are at their lowest not seen since that part of Europe was pagan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/7625123/Belgian-bishop-Roger-Vangheluwe-resigns-over-abuse-of-boy.html
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25 Responses to Belgium: Cardinal Danneels Home Raided In Sexual Abuse Investigation

  • Sacrosanctum Concilium is one of the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, a magisterial document which we as Catholics believe reflects the guidance of the Holy Spirit over the Church. You mention it here as if the cardinal’s involvement in writing it were a sure sign of his satanic bent. Sorry, but that’s not how a REAL Catholic would see it.

  • Ron,

    It was not intended to misguide.

    I completely am in agreement with Sacrosanctum Concilium. It is those that “interpreted” it in their own misguided ideas of a worldly church that I am chastising.

  • Ron,

    You accuse me of not being a REAL Catholic by putting words in my mouth about satanic bent.

    You should be more careful of carelessly accusing others of this when it is you who are doing it.

    A self-examination of conscious is in order for you and a visit to a priest.

  • FWIW, Tito, when I read the post I, too, thought you were being critical of SC.

  • The big story here isn’t the raiding of the homes. Apparently, the Belgin police pried open the tombs of the last two archbishops in their search for “documents.” Needless to say, the Vatican is outraged at that.

    Vatican calls in Belgian ambassador

  • Chris B.,

    Ron C. accused me of words I did not say and then slandered the depth of my faith.

    You on the other hand read my article and came to the conclusion that I was critical of Cardinal Danneels.

    If pointing out facts about Cardinal Danneels is being critical, then I agree with your statement.

    You were being charitable in your analysis, Ron C. was slandering me. Big difference.

  • Christopher Ferrara offered some time ago that a lawyer looks at a document with an idea of what it allows the adversary to do to your client. His assessment of Sacrosanctum Concilium: it allows a great deal, and that has been the problem.

  • Art Deco,

    Sacrosanctum Concilium is a great document, when properly read.

    The language in this document, and so many other documents of the Second Vatican Council is very ambiguous. Which allows for a wide interpretation which they weren’t meant to be read as. Pope Benedict has time and time again hammered this point.

    The writers, such as Cardinal Danneels, did not envision the wreckage it would wrought. Though why did Cardinal Danneels and many of his colleagues endeavor to write in such ambiguous language?

    All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.

    My two cents worth.

    In addition, Cardinal Danneels oversaw Belgium and then allowed liturgical abuse to run rampant.

    So yes, he is responsible for the damage done in Belgium due to his leadership.

  • “All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.”

    HAH!

    Anyone who knows anything about the councils knows this is far from true. Even the language used at the Council of Nicea had to be corrected at Constantinople, because at Nicea it suggested “one hypostasis” for the Godhead! Then there is the Ephesus-Chalcedon-II Constantinople debacle.

    So I say again, HAH.

  • “All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.”

    HAH.

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  • So you let through the hah, but deleted the post which explained it. Interesting.

    The explanation went to history. Nicea was imprecise, so imprecise it said “one hypostasis” for the Godhead, and only was to be corrected at Constantinople.

    Ephesus-Chalcedon-II Constantinople do not do much better. St Cyril, whose doctrine was promoted by Ephesus, was very imprecise — and caused problems by his discussion of “one incarnate nature of the Logos.” Chalcedon, though overcoming Cyril, still is seen as quite the compromise council — indeed, so much so that some thought it went Nestorian and further councils were called to bridge Ephesus and Chalcedon together.

  • Henry K.,

    I do not doubt the historical account of the councils you cite.

    Though the vast majority of them were concise, especially since the Council of Trent.

  • “The vast majority of them were concise, especially since Trent.” How many councils have there been after Trent? Oh, Vatican I and Vatican II. Even then, Vatican I didn’t get to do what it wanted with ecclesiology — which did leave a very imprecise ecclesiological question and led to a misunderstanding in the time before VII because of it. And Trent itself, if you study the theological questions of the time, was purposefully vague to allow different theological traditions to remain.

  • Henry K.,

    I have to admire your tenacity on your straw man argument.

    You still haven’t addressed the point that the documents emanating from the Second Vatican Council are ambiguous in their wording.

  • I am addressing the point “All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.”

    Not only is it not true, one must wonder if “strict and defining language” is exactly what we are to be looking for. St Hilary, for example, thought otherwise, and noted putting the truths down into words will always be imprecise.

    We can then look to Scripture itself, and note how “imprecise” it is. Does that make Scripture bad? No, it opens us up to many levels of possibilities through one text. This is a strength, not a weakness.

  • Henry K.,

    Thank you for your opinion.

  • I think the whole debate about conciliar language goes nowhere without being concrete. So, for the sake of discussion… Tito, can you specify where you see ambiguity in SC?

  • Chris B.,

    I’d like to answer you, but it distracts from the main theme of the thread.

    If the post was about the ambiguity of Vatican II documents I would have fleshed it out in the column.

  • One of the defining characteristics of fundamentalists is their inability to catch a joke made at their own expense. In my post at the outset of this thread, I suggested to Tito that a REAL Catholic would not agree with his mischaracterization of one of the fundamental documents of the Vatican Council. He immediately became incensed that I had accused him of being less than a “real” Catholic.

    Tito, just FYI, the reference was to your incessant posting of those offensive videos from the self-described “real Catholics” (i.e., more-Catholic-than-God Catholics) at realcatholictv.net.

  • Ron C.,

    It’s been my personal experience that some jokes backfire because they simply don’t translate via comm-boxes.

    With that said, then cool, that was a funny joke.

  • Tito, you’re right… it’s not relevant to this particular post; perhaps we might follow up where it’s more relevant… please accept my apologies for furthering a tangential comment thread. 🙂

  • Chris B.,

    No apologies needed.

    I greatly respect your opinion and comments.

    🙂

  • Returning to the real subject of the post:

    The Fall of the Belgian Church, by Alexandra Colen. Brussels Journal June 24, 2010.

    At least their OUR perverts…, by Michael Liccione. Sacramentum Vitae June 26, 2010).

    Truly sickening.

  • By now we ALL know there is a perverted sub-culture within the catholic church worldwide. The pope and vatican have apologized to millions of catholics from almost every country on the planet.

    The catholic priests are the very men who indoctrinated us into the belief from childhood, teaching us it is SINFUL to LIE, be DECEITFUL and COVER-UP SIN. These very holy men, haven’t got a clue themselves what it means to be holy.