The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Belgian cardinal says he should've asked bishop to resign; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Dorris Outreach Director 314 862 7688
Daneels should have called the police as soon as he had any information that Vangheluwe was molesting children. He should have told the truth, using all the resources at his disposal to alert the community, protect kids and reach out to victims.
Quietly suspending a predator priest is irresponsible.
No matter what consequence Danneels may or may not impose on himself, the Vatican and his brother bishops in Belgium have a duty to publicly censure him for being selfish and manipulative in dealing with a clergy sex abuse victim. Guilt-tripping a victim and delaying a disclosure is purely self-serving and reckless and duplicitous.
Until the church hierarchy disciplines bishops who ignore or conceal child such reports, virtually nothing in the church will change regarding children's safety.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
07/09/2010 Belgian cardinal says he should've asked bishop to resign
The former head of the Belgian Catholic Church on Tuesday admitted he should have asked for the immediate resignation of a bishop who had confessed to the sexual abuse of a minor.
Instead, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who headed the church between 1979-2009, tried to mediate between the former bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, and his victim, according to a taped conversation between the cardinal and the victim of the abuse that became public.
"Because I suspected there were dissensions within the family (of the
bishop) I thought a pastoral approach was appropriate," Danneels said in an interview to several Belgian media.
"I now realise I should've immediately encouraged Vangheluwe to resign," he said.
Danneels in April took part in a meeting between the 73-year-old and several members of his family, during which Vangheluwe recognised sexually abusing his nephew for 13 years, while he was a minor.
The cardinal had asked the victim to accept an apology from Vangheluwe, or at least not make his allegations public until the bishop retired a year later.
Vangheluwe resigned two weeks later.
Belgium is one of the countries worst hit by a rising tide of revelations of paedophilia by Roman Catholic priests in Europe and North America.
© 2010 AFP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests