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Sunday, September 12th, 2010 03:23 pm
Burry head in sand
Distressing details have come to light about abuse of children by the clergy of the Catholic Church in Belgium. The crimes were endemic and were rife in every diocese without exception. It is also thought that child abuse occurred in every Catholic school.

At least thirteen victims have taken their own life. The actual figure is unknown: it could very easily run into the hundreds. A seventy year old man told a reporter that he still had nightmares, twice a week, about what was done to him some sixty years ago by a priest.

At first sight the majority of the Belgians seem to be Catholic. Like always, Christians are lying. Somewhat less than half come into a church about three times in their lifespan: when they are born to get baptized, to get married and to be buried. Those numbers are dwindling every year.

In the late 1950's regular attendance of Sunday mass was over 60%. In 2008 this figure was barely 5%, and the church admits it is losing about 0.5% every year. That might be a lot more in 2010.

The Catholic Democratic Party had an absolute majority in the 1950's. It barely got 16,15% of the votes in the elections of 2010. That this figure isn't even lower is probably partly because the party has changed the "Catholic"-part of it's name into "Christian" and even so almost never emphasizes it.

The scandal of the child abuse has rippled through the nation. Not only the facts are shocking, but the subsequent efforts of the church to cover up the filth instead of doing something about it are equally despicable.

L'Anglophone writes (on September 2, 2010):

"According to secretly-recorded tapes made public, a former leader of Belgium's Catholic church advised a victim of sexual abuse to remain silent until after the retirement of the perpetrator, who was both the victim's uncle and the Bishop of Bruges.

Robert Joseph VangheluweGodfried DanneelsThe first of the two tapes, both of which were made public last weekend in the Flemish dailies De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad, is of a conversation on April 8th, 2010 between three people: the victim, whose name has not been made public; Robert Joseph Vangheluwe, 73, (right) the former bishop of Bruges; and Cardinal Godfried Danneels, 77, (left) the former archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. Church authorities have verified the tapes' authenticity.

On the first tape, the victim is encouraged to either accept a private apology and remain silent, or to wait until Vangheluwe's retirement in 2011. 'The bishop will resign next year, so actually it would be better for you to wait. I don’t think you’d do yourself or him a favor by shouting this from the rooftops,' said the cardinal, adding later in the conversation, 'I don't know whether it would be to your advantage to make a lot of noise about it. Neither for you, nor for him.'

When the cardinal warned the victim against blackmailing the church and dragging Vangheluwe's name 'through the mud,' the victim replied, 'He has dragged my whole life through the mud, from age 5 until 18. Why do you feel sorry for him and not for me?'"

What did the poor man expect? Compassion from Catholics?

Last week, under the continuing pressure of the indignant public opinion, the cardinal confessed he had made an error of judgment. He made an error of judgment? How about he committed a crime? This systematic, deliberate choice of giving precedence to the "good" name of the church over the suffering of the victims is not only the pinnacle of cruelty, it has prevented any action being taken to keep perpetrators from continuing to sexually molest children. His decision has undoubtedly cost lives.

Real people have suffered horribly to protect a superstition.

Cardinal Danneels, once thought to be a possible pope, has shown us the true face of his merciless and callous institution. It is not as if he didn't know about these monstrous crimes. He just ignored them in a way that can be called nothing less than inhumanly cruel and criminal.

Father Rik Devillé, an advocate for victims of abuse by priests, said he tried to warn cardinal Danneels about the bishop’s abuse of his nephew 14 years ago, but was berated by the cardinal for doing so. This was even reported in The New York Times. Father Devillé was one of the founders of the organization Human Rights in the Church, which assisted more than 300 young victims of priest pedophilia between 1992 and 1998.

Vangheluwe did not wait to retire until 2011. About two weeks after the meeting, after a friend of the victim threatened to make the case pubic, the bishop resigned on April 23th, and admitted he had sexually abused "a boy in my entourage" two decades earlier. Despite this he will not face prosecution because the statute of limitations on his crimes has run out. The tactics of Catholic Church to intimidate the victims into silence have proven once more effective.

The Vatican accepted Vangheluwe's resignation in June, but said nothing publicly before Belgian police raided church properties on June 24th. Then it raged furiously. Cardinal Bertone angrily told reporters that not even communist states dared to treat church authorities and church property in this way. He summoned the Belgian ambassador to the Vatican and handed him a formal protest note.

It is doubtful this will have made much of an impression on Belgian authorities. In 2009, the Belgian parliament made a formal diplomatic protest to the Vatican over the Pope's remarks about the use of condoms to combat Aids. The Vatican rejected the Belgian protest as an "attempt to silence the Pope's moral teaching".

Moral teachings?

Are these criminals telling us they have anything to teach us about morality? Let's see.
  • Sexually abuse children
  • Threaten them to remain silent
  • React furiously when your vile crimes are found out
  • Hypocritically try to make yourself look as the victim
  • Tell people condoms are not safe, jeopardizing the lives of millions (since you know better than all scientists in the world)
  • Call yourself "holy"

The truth is the average sewer rat has a higher moral standard than the Catholic Church. The truth is no other organization could have committed such despicable, vile crimes without being shut down.

The Catholic Church is a criminal organization and should be treated as such. Their officials should be treated like Mafia dons. They belong behind bars pending long and thorough investigations into their crimes.

Johnny Cash comes to mind when he sung about San Quentin Prison:

May you rot and burn in hell.
May your walls fall and may I live to tell.
May all the world forget you ever stood.
And may all the world regret you did no good.