Thursday, December 02, 2010

The indifference of the Belgian Church

Abus sexuels: l'Eglise n'a jamais envisagé d'indemniser les victimes

Sexual abuse: the Church never considered compensating victims
(Belga) The Church never intended to compensate victims of sexual abuse by priests, Godelieve Halsberghe, President of the Interdiocesan Commission responsible for this issue from 2000 to 2009 said on Wednesday, before the Parliamentary Committee on Sexual Abuse by those in a relationship of authority.

On 28 August 2000, Ms. Halsberghe received a letter from an employee of the archdiocese of Malines-Brussels indicating that it was impossible to pay damages for two reasons: on a practical level, such a decision would have resulted in a string of lawsuits and, in legal terms, the recognition of fault by the Church. Ms. Halsberghe, the magistrate who carried out this work without charge, has also sown confusion in the Commission stating that the Church could have hidden files relating to these abuses. "I think that there is a secret place where those records are kept" she said, before giving details of the statement in camera. In the corridors of the Parliament, counsel for the Bishops Conference of Belgium, Paul-Olivier Quirynen, protested against these statements. The word "secret" is borrowed from canon law and in fact covers records relating to appointment people or about people which need to be treated confidentially, like that of doctors or lawyers, "he said. The magistrate resigned in 2009, partly because the Church no longer responded to her letters for a year. The child psychiatrist Peter Adriaenssens succeeded her. (OSN)