Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Danneels admits to serious mistakes

De Standaard Online - Danneels erkent dat hij ontslag Vangheluwe had moeten eisen

Cardinal Godfried Danneels realizes that he ought have immediately urged Bishop Vangheluwe to resign. He says not doing so his "most serious error of assessment".

He says this in an interview which appears tomorrow morning in Knack. It is the first time the Cardinal has given an interview about the Vangheluwe case.

From the conversations with the victim of the bishop of Bruges which Danneels had, published in The Standard, it appeared that he was not asked to resign. He has always denied that he wanted to cover-up the abuse by Bishop Vangheluwe.

"It was for me in the first place about reconciliation within the family," he says now Knack. "I thought, wrongly, that the family had kept the case private for 24 years , so also wanted to keep it that way."

"That's why I suggested waiting another year until the bishop retired. When there was no immediate explosion, then I have indeed said that something can be forgiven. "

Pastoral approach

Resignation was a "consequence" of that reconciliation, he says now. "But as I suspected dissension within the family, I thought of adopting a pastoral approach."

Danneels denies that he has treated the victim arrogantly. The greeting "Zeg ne keer" (thought patronising) is a common greeting in West Flanders.

"Later in the conversation, I actually told the victim said that I did not wish to hear the story, because I knew the facts. And that was wrong. I should have let him tell the story, however long it lasted. "

Danneels regrets that the conversation ever took place. "I did not go into his (Vangheluwes, ed.) demand for me to meet the family. What Vangheluwe hoped to achieve with this meeting, I can only guess. "
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