Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cardinal Danneels- his legal postion in detail

Danneels: wat kan en wat kan niet? -

What is the situation of Danneels in criminal law? Can he be prosecuted? And when would that be? How can he defend himself? All at a glance:

* If Danneels was aware of a crime he had not reported to the court. Only officials have an obligation to report and even for them there is no penalty if they do not.

* Danneels has - in religious terms - a secret of confession. That means he can never disclose a confession even with the consent of the penitent, even after his death. He cannot even say whether there has been something confessed. Pope John Paul II said that again solemnly on April 30, 2001 in the motu proprio "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis tutela" with regard to the Sixth Commandment! The question whether a simple confession of sexual abuse by a priest to his bishop is considered a confession may arise. Some church lawyers say yes, others not because the sacramental rite was not fully respected. Danneels can rely on the secret of confession, but he will not have much success, because the confession secret is not recognized in common law.

* Danneels can rely on professional secrecy not to provide information about sexual abuse. This is partly broader, part narrower than the secret of confession . The Cardinal learning confidential information through his office is covered by this secret. That confidentiality is broader than the secret of confession because the information can be not only about perpetrators, but can be from everywhere. It is also limited because the secrecy is not absolute: the court can determine whether certain elements within the secrecy and in emergency can be lifted. This can be for example in the case of sexual abuse of minors. In such a case, Danneels can forego professional secrecy and give the facts reported to the court, but he does not have to.

* Can Danneels be prosecuted for gross negligence because he may not have reported sexual abuse to the court? That is only if he has not given "appropriate assistance" to someone who is in immediate and imminent danger. For example, the victim (or another victim of the same perpetrator) may be in immediate risk of sexually abused by a priest who has confessed. In this case, the cardinal should offer "appropriate assistance" . This can be a complaint to the court, but not necessarily so. If Danneels offered appropriate help in such a case, there is no gross negligence. Also: prosecution for gross negligence in respect of acts that have lapsed, or for cases where there is no immediate danger, it is not possible. The likelihood of prosecution for gross negligence of Danneels is very small.

* Have Cardinal Danneels then and Archbishop Leonard now - as the boss of their priests - civil liability for harm to victims harmed by sexual abuse by their priests? Under current law no- because the bishop-priest relationship in employment law is not an employer-employee relationship and thus there is no civil liability. This was confirmed on September 25, 1998 in the Case of Van der Lijn, the pedophile priest of Saint-Gilles.

* Cardinal Danneels as any citizen can be questioned. He may, from the first trial - according to the Salduz ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg - be assisted by his lawyer. He was. Moreover the College of Procurators General recommends that this first interview is videoed. Danneels is heard as a witness, not as a suspect.The case file is run against strangers. If Danneels is under suspicion, he may discover the full case against him. As a witness he cannot. That gives the examining magistrate and his investigators a certain advantage.

The Federal Police finished their interview at 19.45. A day that the Belgian Church will long, long remember.

Investigating judge called in this afternoon to decide if Danneels is witness or suspect

And takes no decision- for the moment.

Cardinal Danneels questioning- latest news.

Source RTL

Peter Adriaenssens faced on Tuesday afternoon in the offices of the Federal Judicial Oolice in Brussels, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who has been questioned since 09:30. This confrontation was part of the investigation into the alleged acts of pedophilia committed within the Church. Mr. Adriaenssens left the premises of the PJF to 17.15, according to the Belga news agency.

"I cannot and do not want to say anything about the content of this confrontation. Justice must now do its job. It is as a witness that I was heard and I answered questions," said M . Adriaenssens as he left the building housing the offices of the Federal Judicial Police. "Regarding the attitude of Cardinal Danneels, it is clear he is still in shock. It is very difficult for him to understand that many people thought he knew and that He did nothing. It is surprising that acts of such gravity are being alleged, "he added. "Everyone must now take responsibility for making things happen. That is why the committee stepped aside," says Adriaenssens, saying he did not know if he would be questioned on Tuesday. He was called in around 14.40 "I was called in the afternoon and asked me to go immediately to the office of the Federal Judicial Police." Around 17.45, the hearing of Cardinal Danneels was still ongoing.

Cardinal Danneels questioning- dramatic development

La police confronte le Cardinal Danneels et Peter Adriaenssens | RTBF INFO

The former head of the Belgian Church, Cardinal Danneels is still being questioned on Tuesday afternoon (17.05) as a witness by the police in the wake of investigations into pedophilia within the Church. By mid-afternoon, he was joined by Peter Adriaenssens.

Cardinal Danneels, 77, arrived in the morning at the police building for a hearing which could be long.

Around 15.30 Peter Adriaenssens, the former chairman of a committee that dealt with complaints of sexual abuse in the church, arrived presumably for a confrontation. Peter Adriaenssens had already been heard last Friday but some of his statements do not correspond to those Cardinal. It was also said that the cardinal does not remember certain matters any more.

Could not be more dramatic, Cardinal confronted by conflicting statements of the man who led the organisation to deal with the problem of sexual abuse in the Church.

Cardinal Danneels being questioned as a witness not a suspect

According to Flemish press. This is probably because the investigation of which the police raids were part is not into any cover-up but into cases of paedophilia.

If he was being questioned as a suspect the prosecutor would be obliged to fully disclose the case against him- questioning as a witness allows the prosecutor not to sure all their cards, if there happens to be a case.

Cardinal Danneels arrived for questioning 9.40 Brussels time

The questioning is still continuing as of 12.20.

Ecumenical Working Group in support of Belgian Paedophilia

De Duivel in de Kerk | The Devil in the Church

In October 1984, Danneels received a letter from a concerned mother about the so-called Ecumenical Working Group on Paedophilia. The activities of this group were announced in the Bishop’s Conference journal, Church and Life on August 9, 1984. The Group, as stated the article, "will raise awareness in the churches of the phenomenon of paedophilia, share information and remove prejudices." It was planned as a meeting point for paedophiles " to exchange ideas with each other and to encourage each other. All are welcome who wish to better understand paedophilia and paedophiles under conditionsof more transparency, respect and trust. "

The mother, who turned to Danneels, had obtained "detailed documentation" which she reported to him as startling.

Some quotes:

If your (small) son or (little) daughter feels fine about relationship with a paedophile, please do not break up the relationship;

The reaction of the immediate society is often more damaging than the events themselves;

Many convinced Christians can still learn from paedophiles;

It is preferable that a trust relationship between the paedophile and the parents should be created.

But the Cardinal did not pay attention and gave them a free hand. Today, 26 years later, Danneels found that one of his own bishops, his best friend Roger Vangheluwe, at the time of publication of the article in Church and Life - and sadly many years later – was molesting his eleven year old nephew.

The journal Knack points out that the inspiration for this group came from the progressive left outside the Church and there is surely also a big story to be told how the left turned a blind eye to pedophilia in the 70s and 80s. But it is still inexcusable that the Church should have given shelter to such perversion

Statement from the spokesman for the Belgian Church


"'We know nothing about these issues. We wonder where do these reports come from,' he noted, adding that during the questioning that followed the raids, no reference was made to these documents. 'I myself was questioned and I was not questioned at all on these documents. The archdiocese is enormous. Many documents have been sent but I know nothing about them. One must be very careful 'concluded Eric Beukelaer."

Source for the Dutroux dossier?

Advocaat Julie en Melissa geeft bezoek kinderpornosites toe -

Attorney of Julie and Melissa visited child pornography sites

Victor Hissel, the lawyer who in the '90s, stood by the parents of Dutroux victims Julie and Melissa, has admitted to surfing child pornography sites . He emphasizes that he was sorry and that he always acted in good faith during the Dutroux case .
Hissel in February this year was indicted for possessing child pornography. Investigators placed a track on him as a result of a major operation against child pornography in Australia.

"No pedophile"

Hissel now admits he was aware of such websites and visited them, but insists that he never downloaded or bought material from his credit card. He also stressed that he was no pedophile and continues the fight against pedophile pornography .

Between 1995 and 1998, Hissel was the lawyer for the parents of Julie and Melissa, but then misunderstanding arose. The cooperation between Hissel and the parents of the murdered teenager An Marchal ended in 2003 .

Horrific serial infanticide files found in home of Cardinal Danneels. He is to be questioned today.

The Dutroux file discovered in the residence of the Archbishop of Malines

Some confidential judicial documents of which certain belong to the Dutroux dossier were found at the end of June in the possession of the Archbishop of Malines according to the daily Het Laaste Niews. The interrogation of Msgr Danneels which takes place today could bring a response to this strange discovery.

On 24th June, judicial searches were undertaken of the Catholic Church in Belgium. Some tombs were examined- the police visited the home of Cardinal Danneels and hundreds of files, computers and DVDs were taken from the residence of the Archbishop of Malines. The investigators attempted to find the presumably hidden files about paedophilia. During these searches, the magistrate of Brussels made a strange discovery.

Some photos of the exhumation of Julie and Melissa

Up to 100 photos showing the exhumation of the bodies of the children, but also exchanges of reports between magistrates in the Dutroux affair and large parts of the judicial file were found. The fact is that these documents were only intended for the judicial authorities and, a priori, had nothing to do with the church, explained RTL journalist.

This is not the first leak of elements of the judicial record of Dutroux according to Solimando Antonio. He recalls that Cdrom of the Dutroux investigation was sent to several editors, some who had decided to publish it. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the presence of those confidential files and reports to the archdiocese will once again support defenders of the theory of a paedophile network ... Even if, as a reminder, the court has ruled that it does not accept this theory.

Monsignor Danneels heard today

How and why certain confidential information of the Dutroux case were kept at the Archdiocese of Malines/ Mechelen? The Archbishop Danneels hearing scheduled this morning, will provide an answer. Monsignor Danneels is on the grill, like the judge ordered the searches of the Church: since yesterday, Wim de Troy is being closely monitored. After using methods described as muscular, he is now under supervision of his superiors and may be withdrawn from the case.

Translation from RTL

More soon.

Six years ago the Cardinal successfully obtained an injunction against a Brussels- based newspaper to stop publication of details of his alleged involvement in the Dutroux affair. The article gave details of an alleged attempt to blackmail the Cardinal by sending a videocassette to the Vatican. It is possible that this file relates to his defence against baseless charges.

One of the few cases to have been brought to court relates to the Cure of Kinkempois, a parish priest of a town 6 km from where two of the children of the Dutroux case were abducted.

Cardinal Danneels has already been fined in another case for cover up but this was overturned on appeal.

So the big question this week- will Cardinal Danneels be arrested?

Excellent background material

Did Cardinal Danneels destroy evidence?

7sur7 are saying that he will also be questioned on an exchange of correspondence on the burning of confidential files by the Archdiocese.