Saturday, June 26, 2010

Getting answers from the Belgium Magic Circle

What did Belgium police expect to find in the tombs of Cardinals Jozef-Ernest Van Roey the predecessor of Leon-Joseph Suenens?
Why did the seize the confidential statements of scores of victim statements?
Why were the entire Belgium heirarchy imprisoned for 9 hours in the Conferences head-quarters?
See the Aljzeera report
With techniques reminiscent of of a raid on nest of drug dealers, the extraordinarily heavy handedness of the authorities, with dogs and armed police, seizing even mobile phones, is illustrative of how low in public opinion the Church has fallen under Daneels and Suenens but is it also that Belgium authorities want to deliberately humiliate the Church and present its bishops as a gang of gangsters. Is this really the only way of getting answers from the Belgium magic circle?
I suspect behind the story is the sheer frustration of getting answers from the Belgium Magic Circle.


Anonymous said...


When you talk about the 'Belgium magic circle', you should be aware that 'inroads' have been made - for example, Archbishop Leonard, the bishop of Antwerp, etc. Take this from someone who actually lives Belgium, and knows the situation very well. Despite secularisation (thanks to some extent to Suenens etc.), public opinion in respect of the Church and sexual abuse is not as bad as you think - the Church, however has political enemies who do their best to lessen the influence of the Church, which the Church herself has somewhat 'lessened' over the last forty years. Yes, we can 'point the finger' at the bishops for faults made in the past. But what happened the other day was unacceptable in a democracy, especially as the Church's commission concerning sexual abuse had a working agreement with the state on how to proceed. As far as I am aware, the police did not find what they were looking for. Pray for us, pray for the victims of abuse and their families, and pray for us clergy and religious on the ground trying to repair forty years of damage in the Belgium church. clericus

Sixupman said...

'The Faith' in the Low Countries ceased to exist post-Vatican II. One side-effect being the death of 'Conscience' and all emanates from that event.

No hell! No Purgatory! What else can one expect?

nickbris said...

Islamics in this country have been subjected to this sort of treatment over & over again.It is all over the papers for a few days and then nothing more is heard.

Independent said...

Perhaps an answer can be found in the years of Nazi occupation, collaboration, and turning a blind eye to the fate of many of their fellow citizens. Such activity sapps the moral sense.

However the police tactics are reminiscent of those of the Gestapo, except that nobody is tortured

Adulio said...

Ah! The legacy of JP II "the great". A legacy that just keeps giving and giving till it hurts.

Edward P. Walton said...

Could the opening of the tombs be a search for DNA?

pelerin said...

Edward P Walton - one report I saw said that the authorities thought there might be hidden documents in the tombs. I don't think they were actually opened but holes were made and optical probes were then used.

Physiocrat said...

The state of a country can usually be gauged from the condition of its railways. They are a barometer of things like morale.

That there is something seriously wrong with Belgium is evident from the state of the railway track on the approaches to Brussels. It looks like a scrap metal yard with lumps of metal and concrete lying around all over the place.

As well as being a hazard in itself, junk left on railway lines is indicative of major failures of management, a collapse in morale, and all sorts of other social and economic ills.

There was, of course, a serious accident on this stretch of line in February due to a brake failure on a train, so presumably the trains are maintained to the same low standard.

Belgium is another broken country.

SPQRatae said...

As someone who also lives in Belgium, I broadly agree with the first anonymous poster. However, the post is a little Polyanna-ish when it states: 'public not as bad as you think'. Actually, yes it is. In 15 years, I have never heard any Belgian say anything good about the local Church. Quite the opposite. Thanks to Danneels and Suenens, the Church is effectively dead in Belgium, and - ultimately - deserves to be. I pity and pray for good men like ++Léonard, but I fear it is too little, too late. My only cause for hope is the hope we should always have in God. At least the possibility of improvement is always there, despite - not because of - the Belgian Church.

Anonymous said...

non - when you say that 'the Church is effectively dead in Belgium', be careful, because the Church is built of Jesus Christ. We know that things are bad, but please give us a little encouragement ! Much good is also happening. By the way, readers may be interested to read this, in support of the Belgian bishops :

Message of the Holy Father
To the dear Brother,

Abp. André Joseph Léonard,

Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels,

President of the Belgian Episcopal Conference

I wish to express to you, dear Brother in the Episcopate, as well as to all Bishops of Belgium, my closeness and my solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, searches were carried out in Mechlin Cathedral and in places where the Belgian Episcopate were assembled in plenary session. During that meeting, aspects related to the abuse of minors by members of the clergy were to have been treated, among other things. I have myself repeated numerous times that these grave facts should be treated by the civil order and by the canonical order in reciprocal respect for the specificity and autonomy of each one. In this sense, I wish that justice will follow its course, ensuring the rights of persons and institutions, in respect for victims, with the recognition, without prejudices, of those who wish to collaborate with it and with the refusal of everything that could darken the noble duties that are ascribed to it.

Assuring you that I daily accompany you in prayer for the path of the Church in Belgium, I gladly send you an affectuous Apostolic Benediction.

Vatican City, June 27, 2010.



SPQRatae said...

I hope and pray you are right. I would love, love, love to be wrong.
If you are one of the people trying to turn things around, you have my every encouragement and gratitude.

Anonymous said...


Bedankt voor uw aanmoedigen !

Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate your kind comments. Things are difficult, but let us build on the positive signs, little though they may appear. There are real battles being fought at present. Say a prayer for a special intention.

oremus pro invicem,


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