Friday, July 30, 2010

Moment of truth in the Danneels investigation

Het Nieuwsblad - Onderzoek naar onderzoek Danneels in stroomversnelling

The Board of Indictment (AI) on August 6 will hear the parties involved in the Danneels case.

The investigation into sexual abuse within the Church will be fought over in court in the next few weeks the court . The Prosecutor-General of Brussels decided a few weeks ago to review the actions of the investigators and to place the investigating judge under the microscope has "got the time" of the Board of Indictment .

This means that the AI will decide on the validity of the investigation. The first session is scheduled for Friday, August 6. The KI can ask all parties involvedin the criminal investigation their standpoint. These are the Prosecutor General in Brussels, the investigating judge and the lawyers of Cardinal Danneels. But whether that happens is uncertain.

The study by the Kl comes in response to the notorious searches on June 24 undertaken by investigating judge Wim De Troy of Cardinal Danneels home, the episcopal palace in Mechelen and St. Rombouts Cathedral.

Operation Chalice

Investigators of the Brussels Federal Judicial Police then went in search of clues and evidence that the facts of child abuse by the church were covered up by the Church. During the searches not only a lot of documents but also all the computers from the episcopal palace and the personal computer of Cardinal Danneels were seized.

The action called "Operation Chalice" generated a lot of controversy. The lawyer for the archdiocese and Cardinal Danneels, Fernand Keuleneer, provided the Brussels public prosecutor-general with a dozen objections about the searches. The Prosecutor General then decided to test the validity of the investigation. That the prosecutor-general has got the time of the AI , indicates that a decision has been made but that the decision is yet unclear.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Man Behind the Pope

None other than the late and very great Michael Davies.

Upon learning of his death, Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote:
I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.

The Last Religious in a Beguinage

Not actually a Beguine, but a Franciscan who had been affiliated to the last community. They all passed away leaving her in Kortrijk where I took this photo a few years ago and where she is now represented by a statue.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bishop of Linz welcomes Mexican football team


Some detail here of the Mexican Bishop

Decline and fall of Christian Democracy in Germany

Jeder Fünfte würde neue konservative Partei wählen

One in five would vote for a new conservative party

According to a recent survey by the polling institute Emnid for "Focus" every fifth German can imagine voting for a "bourgeois-conservative party to the right of the CDU". 74 percent of the respondents would not choose such a newly established party, six per cent abstained.

20 percent for such a conservative rival party - this is an alarming number, especially for the Union, as Emnid CEO Klaus-Peter  Schöppner writes in an analysis for Bild am Sonntag . The pollsters feel a "desire for a new party." Because: "CDU / CSU have only ten months after the election almost 40 percent, the FDP 75 percent of their voters  lost. Not even half of these have "gone over" to the enemies camp.

Particularly worrying according to Schöppner: "Paradoxically, the most loyal voters of the Union are presently flocking in droves to the non-voting: Christian orientated values based conservatives wish to associate the economy with values but face more and more, 'the social democratising of their party". Already the idea to vote Green or SPD is a horror for them. Instead, they are politically homeless. "

According to findings Schöppner they choose either the Union or not at all ". Or soon a new party? The forecast of the pollster, "If they could embody in politicians such as Roland Koch again, business expertise, Friedrich Merz openess to argument, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg modernity and Joachim Gauck values , it could immediately win 20 percent of voters . "The Union, however, was in danger of being marginalized by a new party .

A new party would be governed according to Schöppner's analysis by the focus on a "fair contract" (play on words in the original German) "between citizens and politics"  instead of the current "financial manipulation and rip-off". In times of permanent recession and unjust distribution of life opportunities, there platform  would have to be called "market and morality are". Schöppner already has a new name: "Unity and justice and freedom".

Decline and fall of Christian Democracy in Germany

Feast of St Christopher and my name day


Here followeth of Saint Christopher and first of his name.
from the Golden Legend

Christopher tofore his baptism was named Reprobus, but afterwards he was named Christopher, which is as much to say as bearing Christ, of that that he bare Christ in four manners. He bare him on his shoulders by conveying and leading, in his body by making it lean, in mind by devotion, and in his mouth by confession and predication.

Of Saint Christopher.

Christopher was of the lineage of the Canaanites, and he was of a right great stature, and had a terrible and fearful cheer and countenance. And he was twelve cubits of length, and as it is read in some histories that, when he served and dwelled with the king of Canaan, it came in his mind that he would seek the greatest prince that was in the world, and him would he serve and obey. And so far he went that he came to a right great king, of whom the renomee generally was that he was the greatest of the world. And when the king saw him, he received him into his service, and made him to dwell in his court. Upon a time a minstrel sang tofore him a song in which he named oft the devil, and the king, which was a christian man, when he heard him name the devil, made anon the sign of the cross in his visage. And when Christopher saw that, he had great marvel what sign it was, and wherefore the king made it, and he demanded of him. And because the king would not say, he said: If thou tell me not, I shall no longer dwell with thee, and then the king told to him, saying: Alway when I hear the devil named, I fear that he should have power over me, and I garnish me with this sign that he grieve not ne annoy me. Then Christopher said to him: Doubtest thou the devil that he hurt thee not? Then is the devil more mighty and greater than thou art. I am then deceived of my hope and purpose, for I had supposed I had found the most mighty and the most greatest Lord of the world, but I commend thee to God, for I will go seek him for to be my Lord, and I his servant. And then departed from this king, and hasted him for to seek the devil. And as he went by a great desert, he saw a great company of knights, of which a knight cruel and horrible came to him and demanded whither he went, and Christopher answered to him and said: I go seek the devil for to be my master. And he said: I am he that thou seekest. And then Christopher was glad, and bound him to be his servant perpetual, and took him for his master and Lord. And as they went together by a common way, they found there a cross, erect and standing. And anon as the devil saw the cross he was afeard and fled, and left the right way, and brought Christopher about by a sharp desert. And after, when they were past the cross, he brought him to the highway that they had left. And when Christopher saw that, he marvelled, and demanded whereof he doubted, and had left the high and fair way, and had gone so far about by so aspre a desert. And the devil would not tell him in no wise. Then Christopher said to him: If thou wilt not tell me, I shall anon depart from thee, and shall serve thee no more. Wherefor the devil was constrained to tell him, and said: There was a man called Christ which was hanged on the cross, and when I see his sign I am sore afraid, and flee from it wheresoever I see it. To whom Christopher said: Then he is greater, and more mightier than thou, when thou art afraid of his sign, and I see well that I have laboured in vain, when I have not founden the greatest Lord of the world. And I will serve thee no longer, go thy way then, for I will go seek Christ. And when he had long sought and demanded where he should find Christ, at last he came into a great desert, to an hermit that dwelt there, and this hermit preached to him of Jesu Christ and informed him in the faith diligently, and said to him: This king whom thou desirest to serve, requireth the service that thou must oft fast. And Christopher said to him: Require of me some other thing, and I shall do it, for that which thou requirest I may not do. And the hermit said: Thou must then wake and make many prayers. And Christopher said to him: I wot not what it is; I may do no such thing. And then the hermit said to him: Knowest thou such a river, in which many be perished and lost? To whom Christopher said: I know it well. Then said the hermit, Because thou art noble and high of stature and strong in thy members, thou shalt be resident by that river, and thou shalt bear over all them that shall pass there, which shall be a thing right convenable to our Lord Jesu Christ whom thou desirest to serve, and I hope he shall show himself to thee. Then said Christopher: Certes, this service may I well do, and I promise to him for to do it. Then went Christopher to this river, and made there his habitacle for him, and bare a great pole in his hand instead of a staff, by which he sustained him in the water, and bare over all manner of people without ceasing. And there he abode, thus doing, many days. And in a time, as he slept in his lodge, he heard the voice of a child which called him and said: Christopher, come out and bear me over. Then he awoke and went out, but he found no man. And when he was again in his house, he heard the same voice and he ran out and found nobody. The third time he was called and came thither, and found a child beside the rivage of the river, which prayed him goodly to bear him over the water. And then Christopher lift up the child on his shoulders, and took his staff, and entered into the river for to pass. And the water of the river arose and swelled more and more: and the child was heavy as lead, and alway as he went farther the water increased and grew more, and the child more and more waxed heavy, insomuch that Christopher had great anguish and was afeard to be drowned. And when he was escaped with great pain, and passed the water, and set the child aground, he said to the child: Child, thou hast put me in great peril; thou weighest almost as I had all the world upon me, I might bear no greater burden. And the child answered: Christopher, marvel thee nothing, for thou hast not only borne all the world upon thee, but thou hast borne him that created and made all the world, upon thy shoulders. I am Jesu Christ the king, to whom thou servest in this work. And because that thou know that I say to be the truth, set thy staff in the earth by thy house, and thou shalt see to-morn that it shall bear flowers and fruit, and anon he vanished from his eyes. And then Christopher set his staff in the earth, and when he arose on the morn, he found his staff like a palmier bearing flowers, leaves and dates.

And then Christopher went into the city of Lycia, and understood not their language. Then he prayed our Lord that he might understand them, and so he did. And as he was in this prayer, the judges supposed that he had been a fool, and left him there. And then when Christopher understood the language, he covered his visage and went to the place where they martyred christian men, and comforted them in our Lord. And then the judges smote him in the face, and Christopher said to them: If I were not christian I should avenge mine injury. And then Christopher pitched his rod in the earth, and prayed to our Lord that for to convert the people it might bear flowers and fruit, and anon it did so. And then he converted eight thousand men. And then the king sent two knights for to fetch him to the king, and they found him praying, and durst not tell to him so. And anon after, the king sent as many more, and they anon set them down for to pray with him. And when Christopher arose, he said to them: What seek ye? And when they saw him in the visage they said to him: The king hath sent us, that we should lead thee bound unto him. And Christopher said to them: If I would, ye should not lead me to him, bound ne unbound. And they said to him: If thou wilt go thy way, go quit, where thou wilt. And we shall say to the king that we have not found thee. It shall not be so, said he, but I shall go with you. And then he converted them in the fatth, and commanded them that they should bind his hands behind his back, and lead him so bound to the king. And when the king saw him he was afeard and fell down off the seat, and his servants lifted him up and releved him again. And then the king inquired his name and his country; and Christopher said to him: Tofore or I was baptized I was named Reprobus, and after, I am Christopher; tofore baptism, a Canaanite, now, a christian man. To whom the king said: Thou hast a foolish name, that is to wit of Christ crucified, which could not help himself, ne may not profit to thee. How therefore, thou cursed Canaanite, why wilt thou not do sacrifice to our gods? To whom Christopher said: Thou art rightfully called Dagnus, for thou art the death of the world, and fellow of the devil, and thy gods be made with the hands of men. And the king said to him: Thou wert nourished among wild beasts, and therefore thou mayst not say but wild language, and words unknown to men. And if thou wilt now do sacrifice to the gods I shall give to thee great gifts and great honours, and if not, I shall destroy thee and consume thee by great pains and torments. But, for all this, he would in no wise do sacrifice, wherefore he was sent in to prison, and the king did do behead the other knights that he had sent for him, whom he had converted. And after this he sent in to the prison to Saint Christopher two fair women, of whom that one was named Nicæa and that other Aquilina, and promised to them many great gifts if they could draw Christopher to sin with them. And when Christopher saw that, he set him down in prayer, and when he was constrained by them that embraced him to move, he arose and said: What seek ye? For what cause be ye come hither? And they, which were afraid of his cheer and clearness of his visage, said: Holy saint of God, have pity of us so that we may believe in that God that thou preachest. And when the king heard that, he commanded that they should be let out and brought tofore him. To whom he said: Ye be deceived, but I swear to you by my gods that, if ye do no sacrifice to my gods, ye shall anon perish by evil death. And they said to him: If thou wilt that we shall do sacrifice, command that the places may be made clean, and that all the people may assemble at the temple. And when this was done they entered in to the temple, and took their girdles, and put them about the necks of their gods, and drew them to the earth, and brake them all in pieces, and said to them that were there: Go and call physicians and leeches for to heal your gods. And then, by the commandment of the king, Aquilina was hanged, and a right great and heavy stone was hanged at her feet, so that her members were much despitously broken. And when she was dead, and passed to our Lord, her sister Nicæa was cast into a great fire, but she issued out without harm all whole, and then he made to smite off her head, and so suffered death.

After this Christopher was brought tofore the king, and the king commanded that he should be beaten with rods of iron, and that there should be set upon his head a cross of iron red hot and burning, and then after, he did do make a siege or a stool of iron, and made Christopher to be bounden thereon, and after, to set fire under it, and cast therein pitch. But the siege or settle melted like wax, and Christopher issued out without any harm or hurt. And when the king saw that, he commanded that he should be bound to a strong stake, and that he should be through-shotten with arrows with forty knights archers. But none of the knights might attain him, for the arrows hung in the air about, nigh him, without touching. Then the king weened that he had been throughshotten with the arrows of the knights, and addressed him for to go to him. And one of the arrows returned suddenly from the air and smote him in the eye, and blinded him. To whom Christopher said: Tyrant, I shall die to-morn, make a little clay, with my blood tempered, and anoint therewith thine eye, and thou shalt receive health. Then by the commandment of the king he was led for to be beheaded, and then, there made he his orison, and his head was smitten off, and so suffered martyrdom. And the king then took a little of his blood and laid it on his eye, and said: In the name of God and of Saint Christopher! and was anon healed. Then the king believed in God, and gave commandment that if any person blamed God or Saint Christopher, he should anon be slain with the sword.

Ambrose saith in his preface thus, of this holy martyr: Lord, thou hast given to Christopher so great plenty of virtues, and such grace of doctrine, that he called from the error of paynims forty-eight thousand men, to the honour of christian faith, by his shining miracles. And Nicæa and Aquilina, which long had been common at the bordel, under the stench of lechery, he called and made them serve in the habit of chastity, and enseigned them to a like crown of martyrdom. And with this, he being strained and bounden in a seat of iron, and great fire put under, doubted nothing the heat. And all a whole day during, stood bounden to a stake, yet might not be through-pierced with arrows of all the knights. And with that, one of the arrows smote out the eye of the tyrant, to whom the blood of the holy martyr re-established his sight, and enlumined him in taking away the blindness of his body, and gat of the christian mind and pardon, and he also gat of thee by prayer power to put away sickness and sores from them that remember his passion and figure. 

Then let us pray to Saint Christopher that he pray for us, etc.

Friday, July 23, 2010

German Bishops Conference head did not follow his own anti-abuse guidelines?

Deutschland: Birnau – Terra Incognita fuer Zollitsch? -

Birnau - Terra Incognita for Zollitsch?
Has Robert Zollitsch not followed in the case Birnau the anti-abuse guidelines of the Episcopal Conference? His office would rather talk about other things.

"Wherever that is there is a suspicion, there must be a seamless and absolutely transparent investigation," Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zollitsch stated in February at the General Assembly of the German Bishops' Conference said. He is its chairman. "We German bishops insist that the earlier and some long past,like naturally all recent cases of sexual abuse of minors must be investigated.

The pressure has since been sometimes more, sometimes less clearly felt. The Freiburg Press, for example, is currently rather silent. It was not always so - meaning that there was hardly a ecclesiastical affairs editor who does not know what a Territorial Abbey is: The newly named Office of Communications has augmented the declaration with weekly statements. But: Why?

In the spring the BZ and other media reported on a case of sexual abuse that occurred in the late 60s at the Cistercian monastery of Birnau, whose Fathers have been responsible for pastoral care in Birnau since 1946. In the BZ, it twas made known that the victim, Peter P. accused Father Gregory M..

2006 P. reported the case to the archdiocese in the context of his therapy. Although the accused had admitted the fact in writing and P. found out that the Order knew of further acts of abuse, M.was able to work in March 2010 in Schübelbach (Diocese Chur) as the parish administrator, which obviously included contact with children obviously. His resignation only occured when P. had threatened the priest, with a demonstration outside the church.
What exactly is a Territorial?

How could this happen? The archdiocese clarifies the case with the history of the Territorial Abbey - an exotic story which is likely to confuse even experts. Worldwide, only a dozen of such abbeys exist and the statement begins: "The Cistercian Abbey of Mehrerau is one of these Territorial Abbeys', which comes under the responsibility of the Abbot. The Pilgrimage and Monastery Church of Birnau was made a priory in 1919 of the Abbey of Mehrerau. Territorial Abbey (...) means a geographically circumscribed area whose care is entrusted to an abbot. This is his sole responsibility – which he excercises as a diocesan bishop. Such a Regional Abbey does not belong to any diocese and is completely independent of the diocesan bishop. "

The story goes further, however, but at this point, virtually all media in Germany and a number of canon lawyers had the impression Zollitsch was not responsible for the events in Birnau. The Badische Zeitung, too. Already in March, the Ordinariat assured that it had informed the abbot both about the 2006 and the disclosure of new allegations in 2010 and required consequences. Since the events in 2006 could not be pursued under statute of limitations, they respected the wish of the victim at that time, not to inform the public prosecutor (P. saids differently).

In June, the Ordinariat stated: "Several canon law experts and the abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau, Anselm van der Linde, have already made it clear that Zollitsch had nothing to do with the personnel decisions and processes in the monastery Birnau." Abbot Anselm has been in office since 2009.
Canon lawyer Beer corrects himself

Only slowly was doubt woken on the relevance of the information. There such a thing as a "territorially circumscribed area" of the Territorial Abbey, but apparently only in Austria. And if Archbishop Zollitsch in Birnau was not responsible, why did he then set up a new pastoral care unit there in 2007, according to the Official Journal and appointed the Cistercian Father Bruno Metzler to lead it ? The jurist Georg Beer, a professor at the University of Freiburg, has been quoted in the spring by the Catholic news agency KNA and the diocese on the case. Following the research by the BZ he corrected himself:

"The Sanctuary of St. Mary is in the territory of the Archdiocese of Freiburg," even if that is the property of the Order. On the pastoral care unit, this means: "The parish care belongs to the archdiocese of Freiburg (...), Its area is part of the territory of the Archdiocese of Freiburg. (...) The pastoral care of the parish curacy has been since the establishment in 1946 given to the Cistercian monks of the Abbey of Wettingen Mehrerau. This is the responsibility according to canon 520 of the relevant archbishop, in this case the Archbishop of Freiburg. (...). Responsible chief pastor of the faithful is the Archbishop of Freiburg. "

The BZ even has the opinion of the renowned U.S. jurist and abuse expert Thomas P. Doyle. He was asked by Skydaddy's Blog . In fact, he also followed the initial reasoning of the diocese, but then corrected his opinion also.
The formulations of the press office were strangely empty

Were those responsible in the Ordinariat simply mistaken? One would like to believe it. On the other hand Zollitsch is considered a management expert and obviously takes his other rights in Birnau quite seriously. Above all, one would expect after an error a statement which really corrects the matter, for example, correcting: "The pastoral care unit of Birnau does not belong to the Archdiocese and Archbishop Zollitsch has no responsibility for the care of its believers."

These statements however, were never withdrawn. Instead, the wording of the Press Office turns out as curiously empty - a closer look at the statements and one would expect something wrong to be corrrected yet, so to speak, nothing: The pilgrimage church and monastery of Birnau really belongs as a priory to the Abbey Mehrerau. In all important respects it belongs here to the archdiocese, including their pastoral care unit. Robert Zollitsch may also have had nothing to to with personnel decisions and processes in the monastery have had nothing. For the care of the parishioners by priests, he was very much responsible. The Office of Communications communicates not false but irrelevant statements. Why the effort?

There does not seem to have been a subsequent inspection

Clearer sentences can be found in the guidelines of the Episcopal Conference: "The responsibility for the examination of cases of sexual abuse of minors by religious, operating under the provisions of episcopal instructions is, - without prejudice to the responsibility of superiors - in the diocese." This is true since 2002. Is it sufficient in 2006 to give the information to the Abbot? No, replied George Beer. "A mere passing on of the information about a potential offender (and his victims) to the competent superiors, especially if this occurs without subsequent monitoring not correspond to the demands of the guidelines."

There appears not to have been a subsequent inspection- and little other research. Thus, the victim had even to find out that it was not the only case- and that the Order knew a long time ago about the inclination of his tormentor: Between 1966 and 1968, there were apparently at least four adolescents abused in Birnau. In 1968 he lived in Mehrerau, where there were also victims, since he was sent as a punishment to Alsace. From 1971 to 1987 he worked conditionally in the diocese of Basel, where the abuses in Birnau and Mehrerau were documented on recruitment. Freiburg allegedly knew nothing.

Also in the diocese of Basel, M. relapsed. Was the offender in 2006 in Freiburg simply believed when he claimed a single act? And if Mehrerau really knew about this, differently to Basel, did they concealed the matter for decades- would it not have been natural to inquire, in Switzerland, about their experience? The Ordinariat obviously did not, but entrusted the Cistercians in 2007 again with the pastoral care in Birnau.

It would not have even been known that the priest in the early 90's again lived at the monastery of Birnau lived, from where he probably took up pastoral duties again. The personnel officer in the archdiocese at that time was Robert Zollitsch. Even in an email dated 23March 2010 wrote the person responsible for abuse questions, Canon Eugene Maier to the victim, "Father Gregory M. left the abbey of Birnau in 1968 and since then have not been in the Archdiocese of Freiburg and is no longer in Germany." Fairly extensive information. Only when P. could prove the contrary Father Maier also found G. was listed several years after 1989 in documentation. He apologized.
The victim found the statements false and misleading

At least now those in charge would probably have to be clear that they had taken for fools for years by the Abbey. No wonder: When the Ordinariat reported to Mehrerau in 2006, there still the same abbot as in 1968 The Order supervises Zollitsch’s pastures in Birnau to this day.

As P. wanted to ensure canonically that his tormentor was removed from work, they told him he should contact the person responsible at the current residence of the accused. It was not clear whether that was in Chur, still in Freiburg or in Mehrerau. Instead, P. was referred by the abbot a lawyer to whom Pater M had entrusted his interests – but the lawyer did not reveal the residence.

Freiburg had in the meantime made statements about P. 's case which he found false or misleading. On 19 May he made claimn to the prosecutor about Father M, as well as Zollitsch and those responsible for Father M: libel, suspected of obstruction of justice and aid to sexual abuse. The news ran nationwide. And the archdiocese explained what a Territorial Abbey is – one was ready for further information.

One would really like to know what everything means - the silence, the ambiguities. The shifting colours which are associated with the statements of the Ordinariat, if you look closer: They leave room for interpretations. The one that prevails in public is not always the one that subsequently endures. But at the beginning this was by and large possible.

As the canon lawyer Beer had once again considered the case for BZ, the Ordinariat left unanswered a request for clarification of a catalogue of open questions: "In view of the pending claims in Constance and the holiday season (...) the Ordinariat do not have in any way the possibility of giving such detailed information, "said spokesman Robert Eberle to the BZ. His office has not always been so sensitive. And as for the holiday season we would like to understand P. alone has had up to now to collect the facts about his case. Some questions, the Ordinariat has still not answered.
Differences between the cases of Birnau and Oberharmersbach

Peter P. has made direct contact with the Vatican on matters on canon law. An employee of the CDF would neither confirm nor deny to the BZ current proceedings. However, he also said: "There is really not such a thing as people who dive simply into a matter. I think we know where he (accused) is, and that the Abbot knows."

In the case of Oberharmersbach, the Freiburg Archbishop immediately asked for foregiveness "with all my heart," athat he had not searched intensively for victims and witnesses. In Birnau, this has still not been done. When Gregor M was overwhelmed by compulsion during his second stay, there are still probably cases which would not be stopped by statute of limitation- but time is running out. The Diocese of Basel made a public appeal on Ms resignation, whereupon four injured parties promptly got in contact. The publication of the accusation in Birnau has so far encouraged noone to contact the authorities.

It is likely to remain there: Last week, Constance had given up proceeding against the absence of acts not covered by the statute of limitations. That is expected according to the Südkurier also for the charges against Zollitsch (Cathcon- now announced the authorities won’t be proceeding given the statute of limitations). Whether the prosecutor has at least been looking for other victims, it was not possible to ascertain on Tuesday due to a staff outing.
Church law would be the failure probably not justiciable

Without crime, no abetting : for this reason Archbishop Zollitsch can therefore also look towards what is in front of him. Also canonically, his alleged failure according to Beer, would probably not brought before the court. First, "because the guidelines, are only 'guidelines and not legally binding texts ". And secondly, because according to Roman legislation, one would have to prove that Zollitsch actually knew that Father M. in the 90s was active in pastoral duties for the Diocese for which Zollitsch was responsible. The fact that he could have taken action with a closer look at the files is not enough. "Nothing is decisive with regard to moral obligations and their compliance," concluded Beer.

That P. instead the story of the Territorial Abbey instead hears the the essential answers to questions important to his life, is quite sure. Unless someone with influence still remembers two statements from Zollitsch: On Good Friday he had complained that in previous cases' “a caring regard for victims has not been enough. There is a also a painful reality that we have to take account of. "

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vietnamese Easter Dancing in Bavarian Church


German World Cup Mass

Ministranten spielten in Lamer Kirche Fussball :: Homepage - Region - Cham - Cham - Nachrichten :: Mittelbayerische Zeitung ::

Football in Lamer Church
Flags, horns and believers in football jerseys did not disturb the character of the sacred Mass. Parish priest sent out invitations to World Cup Worship.

LAM. Father Ambros Trummer called on his parish at the beginning of the Football Championship to come to Sunday Mass with football fan articles. And thats just what they did. The church was up to the gallery filled with black, red and gold banners, pennants, Vuvuzelas, caps, team jerseys and balls. The choir of the confirmands and their parents sang football songs like "Stand up , if you ..", "We are the champions" and other songs from the "Green Book". Pastoral Assistant Martin Münch practiced with the faithful "La Ola" and the servers could play football in the nave. Despite all this, the sacred charecter of Mass is not disturbed. The sermon was about the wedding at Canas at which Jesus himself had also celebrated.

Cathcon comment- Trummer literally means ruin. Parish priest certainly living up to his name.

hat tip

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rowan Williams is a friend of Lutherans

"Practice what you preach"

The Anglican Archbishop Williams is a friend of the Lutherans
The Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams is one of the keynote speakers (22nd July) at the General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Stuttgart.

What is the most important message that you bring to your Lutheran sisters and brothers?
Rowan Williams: My paper will relate to the theme of the General Assembly: "Give us this day our daily bread." I link this request in the Lord's Prayer to the subsequent request: "Forgive us our trespasses". We get our daily bread from God when we learn to forgive and receive forgiveness. And this reconciliation process is the sharing of daily bread. So I hope to link the command to feed the hungry with the command for reconciliation. Both divine commandments meet eachother in the communion service.

How would you describe the relations between the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), and your church, the Church of England?
Rowan Williams: They were significantly advanced when the Church of England (CofE) and the EKD signed the Meissen Declaration in 1991. The full interchangeability of ministries is currently not yet possible. Nevertheless, the churches have committed to common mission and shared life. The members of the Church of England and the EKD are invited to participate inthe Eucharist in the other church. The exchange between the churches and fruitful partnership relations are evidence that our ecumenical community has become stable. The symbol, that the community accepts this is based, among other things on our mutual recognition as churches in which the vision of full, visible unity of life is received.

So you think that churches can come more together?
Rowan Williams: The relations between the EKD and the Church of England are an example of relations between church and church a lot of progress is possible. We need to keep all possible communication channels open, to say what exactly is needed now. We need to debate theologically with each other, encourage each other and create greater understanding of each other

Some Lutheran churches, and your church have a common problem: the ordination of women. In Lithuania, for example, no new pastors are ordained. Also in your church, there is resistance to the ordination of women. When will there be the first woman bishop in the UK?
Rowan Williams: Our talks are at a very important point: The General Synod considered just how the legislation should look to make it possible that women could become bishops. If we decide to go ahead, this will take at least several more years, where the dioceses must examine in detail the legislation and then refer back to General Synod for a final decision.

Should not the churches raise their voices more clearly in public? How could you take a bigger role in society?
Rowan Williams: The churches must practice what they preach to politicians and the public. They must be ecologically responsible inside and outside their church buildings. They must take in with kindness refugees and people on the fringes of society. You must know the internal reconciliation requires the patience and feeling for each other, which creates peace. You must be very careful with the way and manner in which power is exercised within their church, so that this reflects Christ's selfless service.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Serious allegations against head of German Bishops Conference

Zollitsch soll Kindesmissbrauch vertuscht haben - Service -

Zollitsch is said to have covered up child abuse
Freiburg (AP) - Serious allegations against Robert Zollitsch: The Archbishop of Freiburg and head of the German Bishops' Conference is said to have tried to cover up a case of sexual abuse by a priest. The report of the ARD television magazine "Report Mainz". Zollitsch is said to have said in 1995 that the affected community in Baden Oberharmersbach should not be informedon key details of the abuse scandal . A parish priest had abused children and adolescents there. The Archdiocese says that no one wanted to cover up anything.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Child abusing bishop mocked in obscene children's circus

Politie bij eerste voorstelling 'Circus Vangheluwe' -

The public prosecutor of Gent sends representatives to the first Sunday performance of "Circus Vangheluwe" at the Ghent Festival, said their spokesperson, Annemie Serlippens.

At the show, which is provided by comedians Gunter Lamoot and Peter De Praitere, only children less than 1.35 meters are welcome. They need first to crawl underthe legs of a wooden image of Roger Vangheluwe, who resigned as bishop of Bruges because he had abused a child.

After the protest in the media on Friday, the prosecutor and mayor Daniel Termont consulted. They found the presence of representatives of the prosecutors office not a bad idea. "If necessary, they will intervene, but we have faith in the common sense of the two comedians," said Serlippens.


The Art of Children organization, The National Youth Choir of Belgium and the Classics for Kids organization groups, has already complained on Saturday about the circus. "This initiative is offensive, shocking and painful," said chairman Tim Devolder. "Cirq has done wonderful performances in recent years, but this goes too far."

Suspended priest pretending to do striptease during 2005 marriage sermon


His World Cup Mass was obviously the last straw for a long-suffering and patient bishop. His parish are fighting with the bishop.

Luther's Bible to be revised, hopefully corrected


Protestant church to revise Luther Bible

Even before the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 a revised Luther Bible is to be published. For this purpose the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) have established a nine-member working group led by former Thuringian Bishop Christoph Kähler came the news yesterday on the part of the working group. The committee includes, among others, scholars from the fields of exegesis, Practical Theology, Liturgy and Germanistik.

The main coordinator for the work on the Old Testament is to be the Munich Old Testament scholar Christoph Levin, for the New Testament, the New Testament scholar, the Berlin based Jens Schröter takes the lead.

This edition of the Bible will not be a complete revision, said the New Testament scholar from the University of Münster Hermut Löhr about the project. The aim, above all, is to incorporate the text-critical and exegetical insights of the last 25 years in a non-radical manner.

At the same time should receive the special linguistic charecter of Luther's translation will remain said Loehr.

Cathcon- bet they don't ditch the notorious translation of Romans 3.28 Sola Fide By Faith Alone. Luther inserted alone. He was challenged as it is not in the Vulgate or any of the texts behind the Vulgate. When challenged he said that I Dr Martin Luther have translated it like this.... so that was that. He prefered his own inspiration to Divine writ.

Easily the most unpleasant man to crawl out of the pages of ecclesiastical history- and there are some competitors. He at various times recommended the slaughter of Jews, peasants and the mentally disabled. The Lutherans often say that he was a child of his time, by way of excuse of him and them for belonging to a ecclesiastical organisation named after him. The reality is that he was one of the chief brutalisers of his own age and more brutal than the majority of the people, made worse by the fact that he was well informed and powerful.

Friday, July 16, 2010

First female Lutheran bishop resigns in Germany

2010 will go down as the year of Bishop resignations in German church history

Bishop Maria Jepsen of Hamburg has resigned from her post. She made this known at a press conference on Friday in Hamburg. Jepsen was moved to do so in consequence of increasing criticism of her handling of an abuse case in the Church of the North Elbe. The 65-year-old Jepsen was the first Lutheran bishop in the world.

Because her "credibility was questioned" she did not see herself as being in the position, "to pass on the glad tidings, as I promised at my ordination and my enrolement as a bishop before God and the community," Jepsen said in a statement. 

The sister of one of the victims had published on Thursday a sworn statement about the meeting with Bishop Jepsen of Hamburg in the late 1990s. She had raised the matter with the bishop after a lecture in Lübeck and provided information about the sexual abuse by Pastor Dieter K. of children and adolescents.

Jepsen had told her then that she would take care of it. The victim is from Ahrensburg, which had been sexually abused bythe pastor on own admssion between the ages of 16 and 20.

Pastor K. allegedly sexually abused in the late 70s to mid 80s, several male and female adolescents. The now retired pastor was after first indications in 1999 was dismissed from the community, but had continued to work in a youth prison in Schleswig as a pastor and in a school in Ahrensburg as a religion teacher.

More soon

Sparrowhawk Mass

The same priest who presided over the World Cup Mass has now been suspended.  At the Mass of St Hubert in 2009, he was attacked by animal rights activists during the service.  The whole church was decorated with hunting themes- as well as the sparrowhawk, the pastor also released an owl during Mass. Hunting dogs were in the congregation.  The same old story of the carnival taking over the church, rather than being blessed outside.

How to prepare for liturgical abuse in the Netherlands


Thursday, July 15, 2010

World Cup Mass in Netherlands- the greatest liturgical scandal ever

Orange is not a liturgical colour. These guys know they are Dutch but have forgotten they are Catholics. Never has been a better example of the self-referential nature of the new Mass.

And they are praying for a team to win that could not have played more dirty in the World Cup final if they tried.

The Church is in Obdam- a picture of a nearby church being demolished in 1964 to make way for a new church. They could not even wait for the end of the council before demolishing the beautiful and the good.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Judical bias protects Cardinal Danneels from fresh conviction?

7s7 Belgique - Mgr Danneels blanchi par le meme Procureur en 1998 (1132743)

Msgr Danneels exonerated by the same Attorney in 1998

The Attorney General Marc de le Court, who is examining the investigation of pedophilia committed by priests, presided over the division of a court of appeal which exonerated in 1998 Archbishop Danneels from similar offenses which are alleged today. These revelations come from the Tele-Moustique in an article published Wednesday.

In 1998, the Brussels Criminal Court sentenced Father André Vander Lijn to 6 years in prison on charges of raping minors. There were scouts to whom he was a chaplain in the parish of Saint-Gilles.

The court also found that Archbishop Danneels and Auxiliary Bishop Paul Lanneau had been informed of the behavior of the pedophile priest and they were civilly liable.

Interested parties lodged an appeal and were exonerated. Tele Moustique notes that this appeal court at the time was headed by Marc de le Court, the same man who is now Attorney General, who recalled the investigation file of Judge De Troy to his office.

The magazine speculates that the Attorney General, a Catholic, would attempt to prevent the current case from implicating the former primate of Belgium, Godfried Danneels.

Belgian priest sought by Interpol

Omroep Brabant: ANP Nieuws: Vlaamse pater op lijst Interpol

Interpol has issued a 'red notice' against a Belgian priest. That means that people who know the cleric should contact the police.

The priest has been convicted in Canada for sexual abuse of children and there is still a prison sentence to serve, the Flemish newspaper De Morgen reported Tuesday.

The priest comes from the Flemish town of Roeselare. He went in the seventies to Canada to work among the Inuit, the Eskimos in the north of that country. In 1990 he was in Canada sentenced to five years in prison for rape of eight children. He was released early, went committed similar crimes again in 1995 and was indicted.

With help from the superiors of the Oblates of Mary Imaaculate, the Father could flee to Belgium. Since then the monks have given him shelter.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cardinal Danneels receives standing ovation


At the induction of the new Bishop of Bruges, Josef de Kezel, in succession to the child abuser, Roger Vangheluwe. 1500 people attended in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Saviour. De Kezel is a protegee of Cardinal Danneels, having been his auxilliary for eight of the latter's 31 years in Brussels.

Cathcon believes that they had better save the applause until the magistrates have finished their work.

Priests should always be recognisable- even when hurtling through the air at 125 mph

Military chaplain shows he is made of the right stuff.

Head of German bishops admits failures in abuse scandal

Politik: Zollitsch rauemt Fehler ein

The Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zollitsch acknowledged personal mistakes in the abuse scandal in the church and asked the victims for forgiveness. The chairman of the Catholic German Bishops' Conference met with victims of the former parish priest of Oberharmersbach (Ortenaukreis). He is alleged to have been sexually abused twenty altar boys and other children. In 1991 he was transferred only into retirement, but not prosecuted. As he was then the personnel officer for the Archdiocese, he should have pursued the evidence from Oberharmersbach 1992 with greater urgency and sought more intensive discussions with victims and witnesses, admitted Zollitsch yesterday.

"It is impossible that Cardinal Danneels knows nothing about my son's abuse"

Het Nieuwsblad - 'Het kan niet dat Danneels van niets wist'

"Danneels sat opposite me, was bored listening to my story bored, turned his eyes away and sighed. I feel like I'm sitting in the dock, he said. And now he knows nothing? Surely that is impossible. "

The words of Marie-Josée Dhem from Sint-Pieters-Woluwe. Her son was abused when between 12 and 14 in the eighties was at abused by a Salesian at the college where he attended school.

Dhem began in January 2000 with a score of other victims and Father Rik Deville attended a confrontation with Cardinal Danneels, then Archbishop . "Danneels wondered aloud as to whether we are not exaggerating. I understand that. I received a letter from him in 2008. But that was a vague letter. And I have written many in the past thirty years. "

The priest who abused her son was seen by colleagues as 'totally honest' and the son of Marie-Josée got expelled because of his "lies." "I saw that the leading ecclesiastic did not believe me, but later, the priest admitted to everything during a confrontation with my son."

Sudden memory loss

Dhem is not the only one who has doubts about the statements of Danneels. "My wife and I were also present on that fateful night," said another victim of our newspaper. "It seems that several senior clerics suffer amnesia when it comes to sexual abuse."

"We even sent Danneels a letter, but now suddenly he knows of nothing? Too bad he cannot find it, then. "

Friday, July 09, 2010

Cardinal Danneels says Latin Mass

.... his first Mass as a priest.
Posted by Picasa

A priest raped by a priest and abandoned by the Church

Un abbé violé par un prêtre et abandonné par l'Eglise

The daily Le Soir revealed the iconic story of a priest abused by a priest, then coldly abandoned by the Church. At one point, the diocese had even wanted to transfer him to the diocese where the abuser still currently works.

Fascinated by the Church, Father became an altar boy, begins Le Soir. For years, he was abused by a priest. At the time, his godmother wrote to Cardinal Danneels, but he had simply replied wih an acknowledgment, through his secretariat. A terse response to 14 pages écritex this lady after the drama had known his godson for years, says the daily.

They wanted him to be close to his abuser

The man, now aged about forty years, was abused between the age of 8 and 15. Moreover, the episcopal authorities have done everything to transfer the priest in the diocese where today the abuser works. Cardinal Danneels was aware, informed by the sponsor of the priest, but did not follow the case. All have turned a deaf ear, "says Le Soir.

On Wednesday afternoon in a sleeping bag

The priest's abuses were committed on Wednesday afternoon, when he organized trips to the pool for his children's choir, the newspaper said. Moreover, during the school holidays, he organized trips to a caravan site for a few days. During these trips, he took a double sleeping bag which he shared with a different child each night. According to the testimony, it is at this point that the touching took place, without any penetration or violence.

A breakthrough, maybe?

On Wednesday, the prosecuting authorities made contact with him and the case is now the subject of individual consideration by the courts. The priest abuser, aged 73, is still active in his province.

Cathcon comment- the case is covered by statute of limitation. If the Cardinal has taken this attitude in more recent cases, he is potentially in legally dangerous territory.

Abbot and Prior of Ettal rehabilitated

Benediktinerabtei Ettal

Abbot Barnabas Bögle and Father Maurus Kraß rehabilitated

Yesterday Ettal received a letter from Cardinal Franc Rode, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Religious. The letter is addressed to Dr. Abbot Marianus Bieber OSB, deputy Abbot President of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation. Cardinal Rode announces the result of the Apostolic Visitation:

"Abbot Barnabas Bögle and Prior Maurus stepped down from their offices on 24 and 25th February respectively. On the part of this Congregation,there are no objections to their re-election.

The Visitation confirms in its report that neither the reporting requirement has been violated nor the prescribed Diocesan guidelines for suspected sexual abuse. The Visitation are rather of the opinion that Abbot Barnabas has done all that was possible in the context. "

They also confirm that in the talks, which they conducted with Archbishop of Munich-Freising and his vicar-general both have been assured that there were no concerns about Abbot Barnabas nor against Prior Maurus personally and it can be imagined that both re-enter their roles. "

In addition, the Congregation for Religious gives instructions that an Abbatial election should take place on 31/07/2010.

Michael Müller

Bishop Mixa’s successor announced


The Gorlitz Bishop Konrad Zdarsa succeeds the retired bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa. The Görlitz diocese has announced . Zdarsa has headed the smallest German diocese of Görlitz for three years. The Vatican decision was exceptionally fast. Source


The Gorlitz Bishop Konrad Zdarsa succeeds the retired bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa. Pope Benedict XVI has named him as bishop of the Diocese of Augsburg, said the Diocese of Görlitz on Thursday.  The 66 year old comes from the Saxon town of Hainichen.


Since then, he has lead Görlitz the smallest diocese with about 30,000 Catholics.


Quickly found a successor

Mixa had asked the Pope to resign after allegations against him had been raised that he had struck children and approached improperly seminarians. Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of the 69-year-old Bishop of Augsburg on the 8thMay.

Cardinal Danneels lodges civil complaint

Fuites: le cardinal Danneels depose plainte | RTBF INFO

Cardinal Danneels is lodging a civil complaint for breach of the confidentiality of the investigations following the dissemination of information that the picture of a naked girl was found on his computer. It was simply a work of art from the Collection Canvas of the broadcaster RTBF.

The photo in question has in fact been automatically downloaded to the computer of the prelate from VRT website during a visit to this site and therefore without any willful intent. It is a work of art, made by a student Liege.

Much information has circulated in the press about the investigation concerning pedophilia within the Church, the leaks of which are also annoying to the justice authorities. The Brussels public prosecutor has confirmed that it has opened a criminal information for violation of the secrecy of the investigation.

Investigators suspect more victims of the Bishop of Bruges

HLN Belgie- Parket vermoedt meer slachtoffers Vangheluwe (1130911)

Bruges investigating magistrates have broadened the investigation against former Bishop Roger Vangheluwe. There are still indications that he had more than one victim, said attorney Jean-Marie Berkvens on Friday morning . The ex-bishop is risking a prosecution for gross negligence.

In the weeks following the removal from office, some media have reported Vangheluwe about a possible second victim, and a suicide in the family Could be related to sexual abuse by the bishop. The Bruges prosecutor refused to confirm the reports, but has decided to take matters further.

"Reports of other facts"
"The first acts are under the statute of limitations, that's obvious, but we are now investigating reports that there have been other acts," says attorney Berkvens. The ongoing investigation was initially focused on a specific case, but has gradually expanded. We now are in possession in possession of documents sent by intermediaries and have examined a computer. "

The question also arises how Vangheluwe as bishop himself has responded to reports of sexual abuse. "We are investigating whether the former bishop can be prosecuted for ignoring years of complaints about sexual abuse in his diocese. The name of Cardinal Danneels also comes up," says the investigating attorney.

Cathcon- this potentially could get quite serious for the Cardinal. The former Bishop of Bruges was a good friend. Even if he knew about the first case, he could not be charged because the statute of limitations would also cover him- but if there is a more recent case and he knew something, then that is a different matter.

His claims that he knew nothing are greeted with incredulity by family members of victims who went to see him with their concerns. He at the time dismissed what he was told.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Source of photo of naked girl on Cardinal's computer revealed

Naaktfoto op pc Danneels afkomstig van VRT-site -

None other than the news website of VRT, the main Flemish TV channel- the Brussels magistrates have announced.

The heaviest burden of guilt for the child abuse crisis lies with socialism

Fascinating article from Der Spiegel on how the "liberties" of 1968 became the excuse for child abuse on a massive scale.

Investigating judge to be removed from Belgian child abuse case?

Le parquet général "étudie" le cas du juge De Troy

"A judge shall examine the records with a view to the possible launch of a procedure to remove the investigating judge Wim De Troy, in charge of the case of alleged child abuse within the Church," Advocate General Roland De Bruyne, spokesman for the prosecutor's office in Brussels said Thursday at the beginning of afternoon .

The prosecution did not want to do more reviews, but insisted "no decision has yet been taken on the launch of proceedings before the Chamber of Indictments in Brussels" , recalling that the dossier was "still under consideration.

Het Laaste Nieuws, in its Thursday edition, reports, internal judicial sources as saying that the Prosecutor General will launch early next week the procedure for removing a judge from the case. According to these same sources, the prosecutors would review already established vacation schedules to see who can act as advisers to the court of appeal next week as well as their philosophical outlook (Cathcon- think this is a reference to the idea that Wim de Troy maybe a freemason and this is motivating his attitudes- specifically the opening of the tombs of dead Cardinal Archbishops. The freemasons/ freethinkers organise a champagne reception every Sunday in Mechelen/ Malines just by the Cathedral to coincide with the principal Mass. Belgian is the one country which has a university which boasts being founded by the Lodge- as in England over-represented in the police and judiciary)

The Brussels public prosecutor confirmed Thursday morning that it had opened an investigation into violation of professional secrecy in the case of alleged child abuse within the Church, following leaks to the press since the raids on 24 June on the Episcopal residence of the Diocese of Mechelen-Brussels.

Belgian justice clears Cardinal over laptop

Naaktfoto op pc kardinaal onschuldig - RTL

The Belgian judiciary has confirmed that a nude photograph of a girl was found on the laptop of Cardinal Danneels, but there is no reason for further investigation.

Temporary file
A spokesman for the prosecutor, Jean-Marc Meilleur, says that this is a temporary computer file. These are files which are automatically saved when browsing the Internet.

Thousands of pictures
"Anyone can unknowingly get such pictures on their computer when they visit any Web site," said Meilleur. "It is one of the thousands of pictures which was found with a first superficial analysis , and it is the only photo that can be called somewhat suspicious."

Investigation of paedophile investigation opened in Belgium




Belgian justices open investigation into who is leaking information from the investigation.

Naked girl on Cardinal Danneel's laptop

7s7 Belgique - Une fillette nue dans l'ordi du cardinal Danneels

Cardinal Danneels has still not recovered his laptop computer two weeks after the raid in the Church. A photo of naked girl on his hard disk raises questions, we read in reports from Thursday's edition of the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

All the computers were seized during the search for the Archdiocese of Mechelen. All have since been returned except the computer and the laptop of Godfried Danneels. Justice officials want more time to study its contents.

Investigators discovered a photo of a girl, aged under ten years, squatting in a shower. They also found photos of scantily clad women.Specialists from the Federal Police are trying to find out when and how these photos were left on the computer. (Belga)

Response in the French speaking press

Why are the Flemish press relentlessly pursuing Cardinal Danneels? For three days, every Dutch language newspaper has been revealing  their "scoop" about the former primate of Belgium and other churchmen. This morning we read in Het Nieuwsblad that investigators have discovered in the computer of Cardinal Danneels the picture of a little girl, less than ten years and crouching in the shower, .The paper goes on to say that  pictures of scantily clad women have also been found, adding that experts from the Federal Police are trying to decide when and how these photos were left on the computer.  The information therefore remain unclear: the daily did not specify whether this was in an e-mail sent or received or in a file downloaded, transferred or deposited on the computer.

The lawyer for Cardinal Danneels is doing everything legally possible to put a stop to these leaks.