... shortest one act play.

Belgian's Cardinal Godfried Danneels, met with a victim of sexual assault, now 42, and his uncle-perpetrator, Bishop Robert Vangheluwe, in early April. The bishops spoke freely because they did not understand the conversation was being taped and would not be kept secret as so many others like it had. As a result, their conversation provides the most succinct explanation for the complicity and failure of our church in this continuing crisis. From today's N.Y. Times

Cardinal: "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.” The cardinal warns the victim against trying to blackmail the church and suggested that he accept a private apology from the bishop and not drag “his name through the mud.”

Victim: “He has dragged my whole life through the mud, from 5 until 18 years old. Why do you feel sorry for him and not for me?”

 

Comments

J STANGLE | 8/31/2010 - 11:22pm
I don't understand how repeating any article about the Catholic Church published in the New York Times can do anything other than grave harm to the Catholic Church and the faith of it's members. The New York Times is simply disreputable when it comes to covering matters of the Catholic Church. Not only that, but those who repeat the New York Times stories become disreputable. 
David Pasinski | 8/31/2010 - 10:03am
Thank you, Sister Maureen.  Cardinal Danneels was caught on tape, but I have heard of these types of conversations in various contexts by some of our finest bishops and priests that were under the collective delusion of protecting a priest or the "church" at the cost of the voice of the victim and true justice.  And the sad thing is that I don't believe that we really past this era even with the Dallas reforms.  The youngest generation of clergy certainly have tendencies towards a role of the priest and the Church that make them disposed towards such accomodation even if they personally deplore these actions. 
MAUREEN TURLISH SISTER | 8/31/2010 - 12:00am
This latest example of the abuse of power and authority in the Roman Catholic Church by Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the former leader of the Belgian Church, puts the lie to statements made not so many years ago by members of the hierarchy that the sexual abuse of children by clergymen was uniquely an American phenomenon.

Here in the United States previously sealed depositions that church authorities never expected to be made public support the fact that attempts at containment know no national boundaries.

Crimes against humanity?  No question. 

Will the institutional Church take ownership for the complicity of its leadership in covering up for the actions of those who have preyed on the young and their own actions in putting so many more children in harm's way?  Doubtful. 

To date, have any complicit bishops in the U.S. been sanctioned for their actions? Rewarded, yes.  Sanctioned, no.
The crisis continues worldwide while in the U.S. bishops and state Catholic Conferences continue to viciously oppose legislative reform in any state where bills addressing it have been introduced.

Even in the state of Delaware which now has no criminal or civil statutes of limitations on felony sexual abuse of children, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington managed to get around the 2007 Child Victims Law and stopping the civil trials brought against it by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy almost a year ago.

Certainly not what one expected when the bishops promised Accountability & Transparency in 2002.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Victims' Advocate
New Castle, Delaware
maureenpaulturlish@yahoo.com

Gloria Sullivan | 8/30/2010 - 10:39pm
The Roman Catholic Church has been found out! We  who have the compassion and the love of Christ in our hearts, know that  all  have been generationally brainwashed since  it's  inception.. St. Paul warned the new Christians not  to listen to those people who have infiltraited their  little groups, as they were preaching a gospel other than the Gospel that Jesus Christ taught them..  He said, "even if they come to you as angels , do not listen to them. "  Some listened to their gospel. Thus   you have the gospel of MAN and not of Christ.  Let the World Court  rule on the Crimes Against Humanity that have been committed  for milenium[s] The  Roman Catholic Church  has been found out in every country they have blasted their way into to do their mighty work of  taking  what they could take. Pretending to do good.
ed gleason | 8/30/2010 - 8:11pm
Cardinal says "not drag his name through the mud.”
The hierarchal cover-up is still  dragging the entire Body of Christ through the mud. Cut the rope,,, resign  
Molly Roach | 9/2/2010 - 7:18am
The bishops of this church are the ones who are and have been doing grave harm to it.  They are disreputable and are making the church so.  NY Times is only a newspaper-not an agent is this ghastly drama.