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Friday, August 13, 2010

Cardinal Danneels knew, but what did he do?

Original article

The Chamber of Indictments in Brussels will make its decision this Friday on the searches conducted by Operation Chalice. Was the inquiry about the top of the Catholic Church conducted in a legal and fair manner? Peter Adriaenssens thinks a better relationship must be established between the justice authorities and the Church.

Invited this Friday morning to First Morning, Peter Adriaenssens gave an update on the commission responsible for examining records of abuse within the Church. For the President who resigned from the commission, it is clear that we must now "build a better relationship between the justice authorities and the Church".

A relationship which was undermined, according to Peter Adriaenssens following searches conducted last June in the Church. Shocked, the child psychiatrist believes that this "is a totally unique case: all the work of an organization which took care of victims was seized.

For him, whatever the conclusion of the justice authorities in this case, "this will inevitably work against victims of abuse. The president resigned from the commission due. "Of the 500 cases we had, one third of the victims wanted the case transferred to the justices while others argued for discretion. If the justice authorities got to see all the files, it is unfair to some people. "

Decisions on records that should not be sent to the justice authorities
But often it was the fact that the Committee alone was responsible for the direction of the records raises questions. What files should be forwarded to the justice authorities, which files remained under the responsibility of the Church? Again, Peter Adriaenssens is reassuring: "According to our own internal ethics, all records of victims under 28 years were reported to the justice authorities".The Committee therefore did not retain the prescribed records of victims who have been "on average 60 years old. "Not to give the choice to those who are silent for more than 30 years to decide whether or not to go to the justice authorities is a lack of respect. That's not easy to talk about, "explains child psychiatrist. The Committee has, in his view, no attempt to prevent the victims going to the justice authorities, "by contrast, once the interviews had been conducted, some victims were more willing to meet with a judge than at the beginning. "

The committee wanted to talk about the responsibilities of the Church
To give the justice authorities facts that that were not required, demanded challenge. Peter Adriaenssens defends himself: "In trying to punish everyone, justice is not correct. For the prescribed records, the justice authorities has no technical means to help the victims. It is impossible to condemn the priest abusers. He continued, "The committee had a complementary role. It judged the attitude of the Church, she wanted to talk about the responsibilities on what went wrong in the Church according to the rights of victims.

Cardinal Danneels knew, but what did he do?
The commission would specifically have welcomed indications about matters relating to Cardinal Danneels. Mentioned in numerous files, the Cardinal has been consulted by many people who warned him of sexual abuse within the Church. Of these, sixteen had been called to testify at the commission. This was to have taken place three days after the seizure of records by the justice authorities. "This testimony therefore produced no results. Now, the investigating judge should continue that. This is the only way to know if Cardinal Danneels was well aware. And above all, know what he actually took action about, "said Peter Adriaenssens. There is now no doubt that the cardinal "knew" and had "told people: 'I'll pray for you'. But maybe he did other things on the side, discreetly. We must know!"

Now, everybody has resigned from the commission. A commission that is not likely to see the light of day again. In any case, not in the same form. However, Peter Adriaenssens believes that we must at all costs clarify the relationship between the justice authorities and the Church. "We need a clearer door for victims to approach. And to choose a different word from 'commission'. " Abuse Recognition Centre” or”Truth Committee”'would have been more appropriate.
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