What actually took place!
INTERVIEW PART 1
Godfried Danneels (GD)
Roger Vangheluwe (RV)
The victim enters the room. There is some buzz back and forth. (...)
RV: It is suggested that S first speaks a moment with the Cardinal.
S: I thought it would be the other cardinal?
RV: We have only one cardinal, right?
S: But yes, we thought it was going to be the archbishop.
RH: But you still will put questions to the Cardinal? (...)
Roger Vangheluwe goes outside.
GD: S, sit down. Take your time
S: So I lost my entire youth to abuse by my uncle Roger. Sexually and still mentally and I think I should do something and that I have a duty to report that to a higher authority.
GD: What would you really want? I know the story, he has already told me. You should not tell me it all again, but what would you really want me to do?
S: I give the responsibility to you, I cannot decide, I have this burden on my shoulders and I want to rid myself of this burden and to give that burden to you. That is my intention.
GD: Yes ...
S: And you do what you think should be done, because I do not know how the whole system works, so ...
GD: Do you want it to be published, anyway?
S: Euuhm ... I leave it to you.
GD: Actually, Monsignor will resign next year, wouldn't it actually be better that you wait?.
S: No, no, no.
GD: What you are going to do, you leave open to speculation, eh.
S: That may be, it is your responsibility to resolve that speculation ...
GD: But that we cannot resolve ...
S: But I cannot solve the situation, I'd rather put it in your hands.
D: Well, I would suggest that we might be better to wait for a date next year when he would usually resign.
S: No, I do not agree, and him taking glory in saying goodbye, no I cannot. The cover-up technique that you have used for so many years as you have, I'll have to learn to live with, but eh ...
GD: But I have no authority over Monsignor Vangheluwe.
S: And who does?
GD: Actually, no one except the Pope.
S: I asked to speak to his employer, and I did not specified who that should be. I have also mentioned the Pope.
GD: Now I have nothing more to say, I have resigned.
S: Ah yes, what am I doing here then really, we would be better to arrange an appointment with the Pope, surely?
GD: Or the new archbishop.
S: I do not know, you say that the Pope was his boss, so we have to go there and not to the archbishop.
GD: We have no authority over other bishops, we are just .... our own boss.
S: Then perhaps you can go through and that you can arrange an appointment with the Pope and then we'll go there. It is already 42 years that I suffer and I want no more, I cannot stop, I cannot, and I do not wish to leave everything as it is.
It has a very big impact in the family in everything in my relationship with my wife in everything, I'm tired of that life and that the matter remains so dominant, and I would agree to that. I have arrived at the age that I want my freedom for life.
GD: Actually, the first responsibility lies with he, himself rather than with his superiors.
S: But if he does not want to do what has to be done ...
GD: What do you ask of him? that he would resign?
S: But he must decide, I just want to inform, that's it. If you wish me to say something that I cannot say I cannot, I do not know how to proceed, or should I look for another way for me to obtain closure?
And today I had demanded that he confess openly speaking to the family, saying that he did those things. While everyone is there.
GD: He will do that.
S: I had expected for today that we can do better in direct contact and we'll see, if nothing happens, then I go to the Pope.
GD: The Pope is not so easy to get though to ...
S: But you can still make a decision, this is still important enough to inform someone higher up, or you would let matters rest, that's probably the intention.
GD: I have nothing to do with it.
S: I wonder what you doing here, I asked to speak to his superior and that is apparently not so.
GD: I can also give advice.
S: If I do something wrong on my work, I go to my boss. I thought about this in the same way.
GD: It is actually he who is responsible for the case that really is not good.
S: What do you think?
GD: I don’t want to say ...
S: That he should not and cannot function and that he can not keep silence, I guess that would be the most normal reaction. How can you still go through life so hypocritically?
GD: You should ask him that.
S: But I ask your advice
GD: Oh yes ... You can also forgive
questions, huh, and you plead guilty.
S: Who should I ask forgiveness? I have to ask for forgiveness?
GD: He can do that, it's true.
S: And so take the cover off.
GD: I do not know if it would benefit either you or him to give a dramatic deadline.
S: I still think that the victim's privacy should be respected, there should not be no names used.
GD: But yes, you put him in a quandary.
S: I have all my life been in a difficult position, I'm not planning to have pity, I want that fight to finish, it is enough for me, that I finally once again have a clean slate for myself that I do what I want to do.
I was in a Catholic school and I was brought up Catholic. I'm very upset with that institute, I also read the newspapers, so I think I have an obligation to do so. How can I get my children to believe in something with such a background that will not move on, then you just move straight into the next generation. And everything remains as it is, and that is not the intention of the church.
GD: No, it's not the intention to discredit someone?
S: You give me another solution- I should forgive and it is resolved.
GD: No, no, no.
S: And he goes on as normal.
GD: You could also say he will resign next year anyway, and that for example, he says, look, I no longer go on television and such. With things left like that, and you come to a year.
S: No, I want it placed in your hands and then you decide.
GD: You can grab us and blackmail, hey, and say look, you have to do something.
GD: You can blackmail and say, look if you do not say anything ...
S: Why should I want to blackmail? I'm not going to blackmail.
GD: Well, if you for example say they do nothing, and you bring it to public notice ...
S: Then let me once more give you all a chance to address the church and to do what I myself am unable decide and be ready enough to give a clear answer.
Therefore I prefer to go to the institute, which still must have someone who regulates such things. There are things from the first that are not true, I think there's someone there to link to, who receives a complaint and who does something.
We were forced to be married by him, for everything, the children were baptized by him, how can I explain to them? I now have my oldest son who asked yesterday: Look, what happened to me? They do not yet know what happened. That is still true, that cannot continue, and waiting for everything to return to the same situation- that's still no solution?
GD: Ah! We can also, as I said, ask forgiveness and give forgiveness, which is also a possibility.
S: That's not possible for me, I do not believe anymore, as you do in these things, no, it is not possible.
GD: That much has happened in history, and not in the church, and also later. It is and remains very bad, it does not change, but uh, yeah, you see, if you sincerely ask forgiveness, then we all share the burden, that's a possibility, eh
S: That would obviously be the easiest for you, huh.
GD: Oh, I do not know if that is so easy. It is not so easy to ask forgiveness in public so, it's not so simple, eh
S: I think it not too difficult.
GD: It is not that simple.
S: I should do something with respect to my family.
GD: Do you want us to dismiss him, for example.
S: Ah yes, of course
GD: That's not so easy, huh.
S: I do not know, of course I want that. That's logical. If I cause an accident, drunk, I will also be punished.
GD: A punishment sentences. You have penalties that are public and private penalties, that's a big difference huh. Your name gets out, pulled through the mud ...
S: My name?
GD: His name.
S: He has ensured that my whole life is pulled through the mud. From 5 to 18 years old. Can you imagine?
GD: Yes, I can imagine that that is very difficult... Indeed.
S: You cannot imagine, I'm sure.
GD: So forgiveness is not enough? If you agree, they can say what they want. If you say, I do forgive ...
S: I think that's not enough.
GD: But it would be nevertheless a humiliating thing to do
S: For me it was also humiliating.
GD: I'm not saying that is not true.
S: I have wanted to go through it all. For him the only honest and the easiest way to die with an easy conscience would be to give up his responsibilities. It will be much easier for him. And before you actually go through the mud and everything you need to undergo, and then you come to terms with yourself.
GD: That is quite a strong thing to ask. It is quite strong to say: you must be publically humiliated in front of everybody
S: You need it in any case. He should just cease activity.
GD: Ah yes, that's the proper humiliation that he must resign, hey.
S: Yes yes.
GD: Then people say: why should he resign? So, they're going to find out. you know, why he resignedp, they're going to find out. Which is quite a burden ...
S: But why are you so sorry for him and not me?
GD: I can tell you that.
S: You always try to defend him, I thought I was going to have some support, I must defend myself here from things I cannot do anything about.
GD: No, I'm not saying you can do anything about it but something should be done differently.
S: But what should be done?
GD: Questions of gorgiveness anyway.
S: And that is enough for you
GD: When you say ...
S: Why should I? He had been able to do that much earlier but it was not found necessary. When I was 18, my father told him. We are now 25 years on and he has never asked forgiveness, why could he not do that much earlier, then it might never have come this far.
No, I will not accept that he just disappears from the scene in heavenly glory and that the matter is finished. He has his responsibility that he has taken all this and I wish that you now take your responsibility as the superior. That is my intention.
GD: Yes, I cannot injure because I did not do it.
S: Ah yes it is, we should not continue to speak. Then we'd better stop. I must not talk to you because you really cannot do anything.
GD: No, not directly, actually. No no, you're asking from me the maximum possible...
A second interview to follow. Done in great haste.