Okay, I lied.
There is nothing the Catholic hierarchy can do to shock anyone these days. In terms of jaw dropping disgust, they have done it all.
Nonetheless, the details and subsequent cover-up in Belgium, as detailed in the New York Times today, are quite distressing, even to seasoned followers of the child rape horror.
A few weeks ago, police in Belgium raided the Catholic Church to get to the bottom of an all-encompassing, long-time cover-up. The Pope went apoplectic in response to the raid and right wing Catholics worldwide screamed “persecution”. So, what caused the police to take such decisive action?
The first resignation of a European bishop for abusing a child relative came unexpectedly on April 23. At 73, the Bruges bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, Belgium’s longest-serving prelate, tersely announced his retirement and acknowledged molesting “a boy in my close entourage.”
The boy, not named, was his own nephew, now in his early 40s.
And the Vatican wants to preach to me about “family values”?
The saddest, sickest part of the whole mess, was that Catholic leaders in Belgium were repeatedly warned and did nothing:
For nearly 25 years, the nephew said, he sought to alert others that he had been molested by his uncle. Abuse started when he was 10, according to a retired priest, the Rev. Rik Devillé, who said he had tried to warn Belgium’s cardinal, Godfried Danneels, about the Bruges prelate’s abuse 14 years ago, but was berated for doing so.
Here is the part that really pissed me off:
Father Devillé said the abuse continued for about eight years. When he confronted Cardinal Danneels in 1996, he said, the cardinal listened impatiently, glancing frequently at his watch. Weeks later, Father Devillé received a letter from the cardinal. “Stop making unfounded public accusations against the church and its functionaries if you don’t have proof,” it read.
Kept glancing at his watch? What, was he late to a boy party?
This ongoing scandal that has badly eroded the fading moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church keeps getting worse by the day, if that is possible.