Entry 1694 posted in: 1. General Mish Mash
In May I wrote how the Belgian catholic church was left unbothered after a flood of paedophile priest cases came suddenly out in the open. The church communicated, in its own veiled way, that they had set up a commission that would, in all discretion, investigate case per case and take appropriate action: Matthew 19:14.
This is partly understandable as lots of paedophile cases date from 20 years ago or longer, are legally expired and victims don't want to go through all the meaningless legal hassle. But at the same time the commission also received complaints that, following the letter of the law, had to be immediately handed over to justice, a thing the commission refused to do, in their own words to protect the privacy of the victims. (That some of the accused priests are still on the job was apparently not that important.)
But on Thursday the 24th of June justice reacted with Operation Chalice. This was a typical Belgian rude police operation.
Indiana Jones and the Chalice of Malice
In February I wrote how Belgian police invaded the house of a Moroccan immigrant, insulted him and threatened to put a bullet through his head, unaware of the fact that their victim fluently spoke Dutch and thus understood all they said. En passant the police smashed in windows, kicked furniture to pieces for the sheer fun of it, to find afterwards… that they had misread the street number and had really been instructed to search the house next-door: Escape from Kuregem.
I deducted that the Belgian police was a racist lot but Operation Chalice has now proven that Belgian police simply likes to act like a bunch of Liverpudlian hooligans on a day out. What bothers me even more: they are proud of it, because all television stations and newspapers had been informed beforehand of the raid, so that its images would go all over the world.
When the police invaded the Archbishop's Palace and the Cathedral in Mechelen they damaged a couple of graves, believing that priests had opened it on a moonlight-lid night to hide papers between cardinal Mercier's decomposing bones, and drilled holes through floors and walls to find secret hiding places, although all paedophilia files were neatly stacked in paper files and/or stored on computers, church administration is efficient, to say the least.
The church later called this a Da Vinci Code house search and a fishing expedition, hoping that amongst the thousands of seized documents there will be at least one to legitimate the search.
The church commission immediately retaliated by saying that this was unprecedented in Belgian juridical history and that the unwritten rule of charitable immunity (the fact that justice will respect the oath of secrecy of victim support organisations) had been breached. A few days later the commission could do nothing else than to disband itself as all files and computers had been seized.
Belgian justice isn't really trusted by the population as it reflects the Belgian disease of mediocrity. This was again proven by a remark from Jos Colpin, press magistrate of Brussels justice and a not entirely unbespoken loyal follower of the liberal open VLD party, now running for the imbecile of the week award. When journalists asked him that lots of paedophilia victims were afraid that their files would come out in the open, against their will and wish for privacy, he cynically replied that 'this was a pity for them'. As an unnecessary extra blow in the face of the victims this could count. Luckily the next day another press officer tried to appease the remark and also the minister of justice found it necessary to intervene.
Stalin wasn't stallin'
If there is one constant in this world it is that imbeciles can be found everywhere, especially amongst press officers. The Vatican found it necessary to condemn the house searches and compared it to the oppression under the communist system and a while later the Pope himself invited the Belgian archbishop Léonard to discuss the matter.
When the current pope was still known as Ratzinger he instructed every bishop in the world to classify paedophilia abuse complaints under the pontifical secret, in other words never to instruct justice about it. It is believed that there are about 5000 child abuse cases in Belgian catholic church that have never been handed over to Belgian justice so the Vatican should be careful by accusing Belgian justice of Stalinist methods.
Alas, Belgian justice is not only known for its shady press officers, but has also a rather bad reputation concerning its many leaks. So when yet another press officer told that the victims were protected by the secrecy of the investigation everybody, the journalists at first place, had a good laugh. Any cretin knows an average Belgian official investigation has got more holes than Britney Spears has got knickers.
Meanwhile the church investigation is under fire and justice doesn't even try to hide the fact that there is an open war going on between the so-called catholic (or christian) appointed judges and liberal or socialist judges (although judges are supposed to be neutral they are chosen according to the political families in parliament). At the same time the lawyers of the catholic church are using every legal trick to make the ongoing investigation (and the raid) suspect and illegal. Some parts of the investigation have already reached the press and it is only the question who has been leaking this. It would indeed be a very stupid move of the freethought faction of Belgian justice to undermine its own investigation by giving details to the outside world.
Nude dot com
The most recent leak, that contradictorily appeared in a catholic popular newspaper, and thus shows how dirty this war is becoming, is about a picture of a young naked child that has been found on the personal computer of cardinal Danneels. The picture in question, found on the temporary internet files of the cardinal's computer, had been automatically downloaded from www.cobra.be, the cultural portal site of Belgian television, made by a Belgian photographer and nominated for a national art award, so hardly pornographic or paedophilic material. The cardinal immediately issued an official complaint and perhaps that is what was the initial intention of the leak, finding a way to undermine the investigation.
Obviously this does not take away that cardinal Danneels is named, if we may believe other leaks to the press, in at least 50 files where he refused to take measures against paedophilic priests. But as things are evolving now I fear that in the end investigations will be discontinued nolle prosequi.
Catholic church will lick its wounds and carry on as before, Belgian justice will continue as ineffective as ever and in the end the victims, as always, will still remain the unheard victims…
If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well:
Escape from Kuregem
The Purloined Ladder