Busting the Belgian Bishops — Pope Not Pleased

Belgian police raid bishops’ meeting

What about the Belgian cops kicking in the doors of a bishops’ meeting and arresting the whole lot of them, digging up two dead bishops to search for hidden documents and seizing Church computers?

The Pope is furious, we’re told.  He thinks the church has the right to investigate its own crimes of rape alongside the police, and he doesn’t like being told to back off.

The Pope, to put it plainly, still thinks Canon Law has some status in the world and some authority.  He thinks the crime of rape is not something to be investigated by policemen, but by priests.  And he does not like his priests being challenged by meddlesome cops.

The old attitudes remain, it seems.  Only this week in Ireland, despite all we have heard and seen over the last few years, the Catholic clergy are still not capable of knowing their place.  Last Saturday in the diocese of Cloyne, Bill Bermingham, a priest with responsibility for child safety, resigned.


Because, after he had a meeting with a woman who complained of sexual abuse by a priest, he gave his handwritten notes of the discussion to the man accused of the crimes, before this man had been interviewed by police.

He didn’t see anything wrong with doing this and believed it was permitted by Church guidelines.

Church guidelines!

Not civil law.  Not criminal law.  Not the law of this land.

Church guidelines permitted him to pass details of a complainant’s confidential discussion with him to the individual accused of the crimes.

Don’t you just love the way these guys keep failing to get the point?

No need to answer that.

The Pope, as I said, is hopping mad that his bishops could be held for nine hours and have their mobile phones confiscated, like ordinary members of the public.  He expressed his rage in Pope-speak, saying that crimes should be investigated under civil and canon law respecting their reciprocal specificity and autonomy.

In other words, the Pope thinks the private rules of his club should decide how a crime is investigated in a sovereign country, Belgium.  He even wrote to his bishops condemning the deplorable way the raid was carried out.  He’s horrified that his bishops might be as answerable to the law as any other citizen, but of course, that’s hardly surprising.  As I pointed out in a previous post, these guys are agents of the Vatican City and they don’t pledge their allegiance to the country of their birth.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the man who blamed homosexuals for clerical abuse, upped the stakes by evoking the Soviet era, saying things like this weren’t even done during communist times.  This was a studied insult to the power of a democratic state and a clear indication of what the Vatican thinks of democracy.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if, instead of tip-toeing around these old geezers, our own police kicked in a few doors and dug up a few dead bishops?

13 thoughts on “Busting the Belgian Bishops — Pope Not Pleased

  1. I’ve an urge to say hat’s off to the Belgian police, but I can’t. Much as I hate the Roman Catholic Church and it’s actions, and believe they should be brought before justice for what they have done, I’d have a problem with letting them fall on their swords and then saying, “Well, that’s that, case closed”.
    The Belgian Police were quick enough to kick in doors here, and I doubt any Bishops will manage to escape while in custody, but when it was Detroux and there was the possiblity of implicating the high ups, the poor aul’ Belgian coppers just couldn’t seem to put a foot right.

    “On the witness stand, Jean-Marc Connerotte, the original judge of the case, broke down in tears when he described “the bullet-proof vehicles and armed guards needed to protect him against the shadowy figures determined to stop the full truth coming out. Never before in Belgium has an investigating judge at the service of the king been subjected to such pressure. We were told by police that [murder] contracts had been taken out against the magistrates.” Connerotte testified that the investigation was seriously hampered by protection of suspects by people in the government. “Rarely has so much energy been spent opposing an inquiry,” he said. He believed that the Mafia had taken control of the case.[2]”


  2. I find myself warming up to the Belgians, dig them all up and drill into them for DNA. The Pope is acting like a TV bad guy who thinks he is above the law, ” you can’t touch me I own this town!” They’ve had their way for too long and too many have paid the price .

  3. C’est La Craic I had completely forgotten about the Marc Detroux case. Perhaps, just perhaps there is more to this than “Holy Mother Church” throwing a hissey fit? What if the commission were getting too close to the Belgian Golden Circle? The world knows that all Catholic Clergy are paedophiles and perverts therefore there would be no problem rounding them up and confiscating their files. If any embarrassing little details were related to the great and good they could be misplaced.
    Unpopular perhaps but just a thought.

  4. Catholic clergy are not all paedophiles and perverts. Some of them are but most are not. Posts on this site are as balanced as I can make them and are based on verifiable fact. I don’t need this kind of mindless generalisation discrediting what goes on here.

  5. That was meant to explain the possible thinking of the Belgian Golden Circle. The media delight in reporting on “paedophile Priests” I do not recall ever reading of “paedophile Doctors, electricians, carpenters etc.”. As it happens I know a number of Priests none of whom are in any way perverts.

  6. My point wasn’t to infer a link between Detroux and the church, but rather to point out that they seem to be tackling the church rather well, all of a sudden, when this most certainly wasn’t the case with Detroux.
    They landed on the poor aul’ Cross-Dressers Society HQ like a SWAT team, and yet they let Detroux escape while he was hand cuffed.. Perhaps they learned their lesson the last time, or perhaps this time it’s easier to make a big show of going after peadophile priests now that the RCC is no longer as powerful as it once was, but as you say yourself, Catholic clergy are not all paedophiles and perverts, and not all paedophiles and perverts are Catholic clergy.

    I wonder if part of Ratzo’s reaction wouldn’t have something to do with that, and if it isn’t talking every once of his energy not to say, “But everyone was doing it!”

  7. I am of the opinion that in this case there are a number of possibilities.

    (A) The commission was gathering evidence from victims recording same, swearing the victims to silence (on pain of Hells fire) paying them a pittance, sending the files off to the Vatican archives never to be seen again not even by a Pope.

    (B) A victim or victims reported, not a Priest or Cleric but a member of the Golden Circle to the commission. The Golden Circle got wind of this and sent in the S.W.A.T. team to seize the files and ensure the dissolution of the commission. They were of the opinion that they could get away with this because of the Global reports of “paedophile Priests”.

    I generally dismiss conspiracy theories. However sometimes who knows?

  8. I had to complain once to a Bishop.
    I had to give my story to his Vicar General (aren’t these titles sick!), he took notes and in turn passed on my little story to the Bishop.
    The Vicar General told me up front that “in the interests of natural justice” my complaint would be shared with the person I was complaining about.
    It was a serious complaint.
    It wasn’t sexual abuse.
    Nothing was done about it by the Bishop.
    I took it further despite the Bishop, but that’s a whole other story.
    My point is, that this seems to be the modus operandi???

  9. Now we know why the religious orders in Ireland were positively feral about demanding a system whereby they were left in touch with abuse survivors.

    If you look back prior to the Ryan Report it was a constant theme coming out of the catholic church in Ireland- I assumed at first it was because they knew the value of placing a priest in front of a victim of clerical abuse but the more I think about I realise that the church was again just trying to seize the issue and deal with it via their golf-club rules.

    All the one to me. If the church keeps this up its only a matter of time before a Bishop or Cardinal cops a bullet. I’m not advocating it mind as I am aware of the general squeamishness of blogs and forums around this kind of statement but I’m just saying there will come a point when I will not be able to condemn such actions.

    Never mind. They’d get to see Jumping Babby Jesus and the Sunshine Crew a lot earlier than they had planned. I’ll be eating strawberries while enjoying the news on that so I’ll have an alibi.

  10. “Police investigating claims of child abuse by Belgian clergy have told the BBC they are probing death threats against witnesses and magistrates.

    Officials say that police are also looking into threats to the lives of some witnesses and magistrates connected to the case.

    Jean Marc Meillure, a spokesman for the public prosecutors office, confirmed that an investigation was under way.

    “There are some threats against certain people around the case, and the prosecutors office is investigating that,” he told the BBC.

    He said the threats had been made against people who gave the authorities information or made a complaint, or against some magistrates.”

    The plot thinckens…

  11. C’est la Craic indeed thicken it does! Where did the would be killers get the data on the complainants ? Surely not from the Police?

  12. The Belgian Police raided the Arc of the Covenant and netted 500 pedo-files. The Vatican abused Judge Murphy’s (Yvonne) demands for for Vatican cooperation. When you compare the reactions of the Belgians and the Irish esrtablishment , one is prompted amid the universal outrage to say — with Fats Domino — ‘Aint That A Shame!’

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