Pope Lashes Out at Belgium After Raid on Church
By RACHEL DONADIO
In an exceedingly rare personal message and rebuke of a sovereign country, the pontiff also stressed the church’s “autonomy” to conduct its own investigations and criticized the “deplorable methods” of the Belgian police, who detained bishops, confiscated files and even drilled into the tombs of at least one cardinal in the Brussels Cathedral in a search for documents.
“On several occasions I have personally reiterated that such serious issues should be attended to by both civil and canon law, with respect for their reciprocal specificity and autonomy,” Benedict said in a statement circulated by the Vatican on Sunday.
He also expressed his “closeness and solidarity” with the Belgian clergy and André-Joseph Léonard, the archbishop of Belgium and the president of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference.
The unprecedented raid on Thursday came months after the Belgian church, stung, like those in many European countries, by allegations of sexual abuse by clerics, created a committee to investigate claims.
On Thursday, the police in Leuven, Belgium, also confiscated the case files of that committee and the computer of its director, a well-respected child psychiatrist. The committee director, church authorities and the Vatican have criticized the police, saying they had violated the privacy of the victims who had come forward.
In Brussels that day, the police also searched the home and former office of Cardinal Godfried Danneels and took documents and his personal computer. They have not said whether the cardinal himself is under investigation.
Police officers raided the church headquarters in Brussels on Thursday as the bishops were starting their monthly meeting and detained them and their staff for nine hours.
On Saturday, the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, called the detention of bishops “serious and unbelievable” and compared the police tactics to those of Communist regimes. He also said that the bishops had been deprived of food and water while they were detained.
On Sunday, the Belgian justice minister denied that assertion, as did the spokesman for the Belgian Bishops’ Conference, who in a statement circulated by the Vatican on Friday said that the raid ” had been conducted “correctly.”
In his message on Sunday, Benedict said he hoped that “justice will run its course,” guaranteeing “the fundamental rights of people and institutions” and “the respect for victims.
Gaza Terrorists Burn Down Second UN Camp, Handcuff Guards
The attack was the second of its kind this summer. In late May terrorists set fire to the United Nation's' largest Gaza summer camp and left behind bullets and a note threatening to kill John Ging, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) head in Gaza.
Ging responded to Monday's attack by calling to “change the circumstances on the ground that are generating such extremism.” He complimented Hamas' emergency responders for responding quickly to the incident.
Ging made similar remarks following the May attack. At that time, Fatah blamed Hamas for the incident, accusing the Islamic terrorist group of “targeting the education process and the UNRWA curriculum.”
Hamas has opened its own summer camps as an alternative to UNRWA. The Hamas camps focus on teaching the Koran and terrorist philosophy, including hatred of Israel. Many include paramilitary training. Approximately 100,000 Gaza children attend Hamas camps, while 250,000 attend the UN camps.
The UN camps have faced criticism from Islamist organizations other than Hamas, including Salafi groups that consider Hamas too moderate. Salafi terrorists have been behind previous attacks in Gaza, including dozens of bombings targeting music stores, restaurants, Internet cafes and pharmacies.
- Supreme Court to allow sex-abuse suit against Vatican to proceed
By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 29, 2010; A07
In announcing which cases it would take during its next term, the Supreme Court said Monday that it would let stand a lower-court ruling allowing the Vatican to be sued over the church sex-abuse scandal [...]
Church sex-abuse lawsuit can continue
In declining to stop a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of conspiring with U.S. church officials to cover up sex abuse, the court took a rare step toward bringing the Holy See into a U.S. courtroom.
The justices, without comment, declined the Vatican's appeal of a lower-court ruling that said it could be sued in a U.S. court on certain grounds. The decision came in a lawsuit filed by a man who said he was sexually abused as a teenager in 1965 by a priest in Portland, Ore. His attorneys said the church moved the priest among different assignments to cover up the abuse.
The Vatican argued that its status as a foreign country exempts it from being sued in a U.S. court, a longtime position that has helped shield it from such lawsuits.
In partially rejecting that argument, the Supreme Court allowed pretrial discovery in the case to go forward, and attorneys for the plaintiff said they would seek to subpoena church documents and call Vatican officials under oath. But attorneys for both sides said they doubted that the decision would trigger a flood of additional lawsuits from victims.
"We are not foreseeing that. You really have to have specific facts and a pattern that implicates direct Vatican involvement to bring these cases," said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the plaintiff and for hundreds of other people who say they were sexually abused by priests[....]
"Guaranteeing the fundamental rights of people, and respect for victims." That is so sweet, Benedikt; but what about YOUR victims' rights?? Why would the detention of bishops be "serious and unbelievable"? Is their blood of a different color than the blood of arrested and murdered rabbis, nowadays and for centuries past, thanks to your shenanigans all over the planet?
Time for payback, I'm afraid, cardinals, popes, Jesuits, and all your cabal. 2000 years of oppression of the Jewish people ( and others) might just come back to haunt you, finally: the chickens are coming home to roost!
I would be very honored to know that maybe, just maybe, this blog was influential in empowering a few people in the battle against Rome.