Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Danneels, the do-nothing Cardinal

Pédophilie: Un ex-primat belge se dédouane de toute responsabilité -

Pedophilia: Former Belgian primate to shirk responsibility

Cardinal Godfried Danneels, former primate of Belgium, said Tuesday before a parliamentary commission to investigate sexual abuse by clergy that he was not responsible for other Belgian bishops.

A report published in September by a commission set up by the Church has identified 475 victims of priests, including at least 13 suicides.

Based on recordings made this summer in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels was aware of sexual abuse by the Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, but he discouraged the victim from making an immediate public statements on this matter .

"I cannot give orders to other bishops. I have no authority over other bishops and I think that is the basis for many problems that have been cited here, Danneels defended himself.

Closure of Ushaw College

The trustees of Ushaw College announced on 8th October that the seminary would close at the end of the academic year (ie next June) if a development partner could not be found. Presumably this meant that they were looking for some business to take over part of the site and relieve the college of some of the running costs of a large complex of buildings. Following a further meeting of the trustees, who are the bishops of the northern dioceses, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Kelly of Liverpool, it was announced on 14th December that the ancillary businesses including the hosting conferences would cease at the end of December 2010, and that all bookings after this date would have to be cancelled.

By eliminating the conference activities, and the healthy income stream that they generated, the trustees have struck a severe blow at the possibilities of the rescue plan, that, according to their earlier announcement, they were seeking. It seems that this decision was ill judged and taken without regard to the financial consequences. No longer is any mention made of a business partner, although it is known that a proposal has been made.

Ushaw College has very fine buildings, many designed by distinguished architects including members of the Pugin and Hansom families, St Cuthbert’s Chapel and the library being particularly notable. It also occupies a major place in the cultural, religious and educational heritage of the Catholicism in the north of England. Many are dismayed that its future is being dismissed without consultation and that there seems to be scant regard for those who have supported it during the last 200 years.

Anyone sharing this dismay is invited to sign a petition

Archbishop Kelly enjoys closures- witness the devastation to the ecclesiastical patrimony of Liverpool.