Thu 17th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Thu 17th Apr 2014 at 22:10pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

Belgian abuse victims file lawsuit against Holy See

By on Thursday, 2 June 2011

Belgian lawyers Walter Van Steenbrugge and Christine Mussche arrive at a press conference in Ghent yesterday (CNS photo/Eric Vidal, Reuters)

Belgian lawyers Walter Van Steenbrugge and Christine Mussche arrive at a press conference in Ghent yesterday (CNS photo/Eric Vidal, Reuters)

More than five dozen victims of clergy sexual abuse have filed a class-action suit against the Catholic Church – including the Holy See – for failing to prevent the abuse.

The announcement by lawyers in Ghent came two days after Belgian bishops agreed to compensate victims of abuse even if the statute of limitations has run out.

Lawyer Walter van Steenbrugge said yesterday that Vatican officials and Belgian bishops would be called to testify in the proceedings.

Last year, after reports of abuse rocked the Belgian Church, an independent commission discovered sexual abuse in most Catholic dioceses and all Church-run boarding schools and religious orders.

The commission said that 475 cases of abuse had been reported to it between January and June. The cases included more than 300 cases that involved boys younger than 15 at the time the abuse occurred, sometimes decades ago. Two thirds of victims were male, the report said, while 13 had killed themselves and six more attempted suicide.

In one of the most prominent cases, Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe was forced to resign after admitting to years of abusing his nephew. In April he told Belgian television that he had molested another nephew and that it had all started “as a game”.

  • AgingPapist

    This is just a prelude to the Vatican being hauled before the International Court of Justice at The Hague for crimes against humanity. 

  • Anonymous

    They can’t call Vatican officials. They have diplomatic immunity. I understand that they are upset, but they have been told that they will be compensated. A vendetta against the Church is vindictive and spiteful.

  • Anonymous

    It can’t and won’t be.

  • Parasum

    Such a legal process is morally justified. It’s not a vendetta, & it’s not against the Church; the Papacy is not the Church, but a very small, though important, part of the Church. How can it be wrong to expect the Pope to take seriously the “supreme, full, immediate, and universal jurisdiction”, over each and every one of the faithful is exercised by the Successor of Peter ? That is what Vatican I teaches, as a dogma – & if the Pope accepts the dogma, he cannot really avoid its practical consequences; such as taking responsibility for those over whom he exercises this jurisdiction. Popes don’t have this jurisdiction for themselves - they have it for the benefit of the Church within which God has seen fit to permit them to be Popes. They have it for those who appeal to them for the righting of very great & very terrible wrongs. No one among the laity is allowed to act without consequences – why should the Pope be allowed to do so ?

    As for diplomatic immunity, the Papacy has a trick of switching between pastoral & political identities in order to deflect criticism: canny, but not outstanding as Christian moral conduct. The Pope may have diplomatic immunity as ruler of the Vatican City State – but his position as ruler of the Vatican City State is not the source of his authority as a Christian pastor. And it’s his pastoral office, and the scope of it, & some results of this, that leave him open to criticism for his conduct as a religious superior. He can’t with any show of decency use his political status to cover for his pastoral status - to do that is a form of what the Yanks call “bait and switch”.

    Appealing to the distinction as a defence would allow every cleric accused of a crime to make the (specious) plea that his theft, or adultery, or paedophilia was not done in his clerical capacity, and was therefore not chargeable to him, as he was a priest (or prelate, or whatever). And that to prosecute him, a cleric, was an attack on the clergy, & thus nothing but anti-Catholicism.

    If that doesn’t work for clergy accused of crime, why should it work for the Pope ?

  • Anonymous

    What an arrogant, unfeeling post! So as long as the Church pays for sex, even with unwilling victims, it’s OK? The Church has been given ample opportunity to do something about the basic causes of child abuse and it raises its diplomatically immune two fingers at the rest of the world, as recently in the form of the Ray report.

    I agree with Parasum on the difference between a vendetta and moral concern.

  • Lefty048

    jesus would be proud of your statement.  the sad part is three people liked it.

  • Nat_ons

    The clerks of any body are not a state, even if they represent that state In representing the state employing them as clerks, that state has a pastoral responsibility for them and their formation in terms of occupation, function, health, safety, security and legal responsibilities. Moreover the state has a political responsiblity for its handling of discipline among these state employed clerks.

    The Vatican State is legally responsible in all these matters only for the clerks it employs or uses, as a state. All relevant Vatican officials have a pastoral responsibility for the guidelines that they issue in dealing with clerks who may be used by other states as employees or in voluntary bodies that follow its guidence. So, the Pope has a political responsibilty for all the employees – not least clerks – under his state’s aegis; he has none whatever for those emplyed by other states (as teachers etc) or in voluntary bodies (as priests, nuns, teachers et al) – his personal, pastoral or political responsibility begins, works and ends in ensuring that there are guidelines available for those who look to his governance for such guidence (whether the available ’guidence’ is clear, fully workable, generally/ easily understood or not).

    The Roman bishops and priest and religious in Belgium, as anywhere else, are not employees of the Vatican as a state. They do have a pastoral rule to seek, know, and impliment the general guidence issued by their conferes working at the Vatican state, hence the Vatican Officials have a pastoral responsibilty to provide it .. and exercise some/ limited supervision on its implementation. That the burden of responsibility for the politics of having, knowing and implementing guidelines effectively or failing to do so – the real issue here – rests squarely with the local Ordinary, the bishops with the whole body of faith under their oversight with a sovereign priesthood; that includes pastoral and personal responsibilities for the oversight committed to them (not by the Vatican, which is not the employer, nor the Pope, who is not their chief executive – but their Master, God) .

    Therefore, yes, Vatican Officials may indeed be asked to provide witness or information or contributions to the state involved in a criminal Inquiry (the same root meaning as Inquisition). That the local ordinary rule of the church should have exercised better control in its own inquests into criminal matters is certainly in and of itself a concern of gross (and erhaps criminal) negligence. The need for a Roman inquisition to sort out the wanton mess of the local Ordinaries, their lack of vigour and understanding of the guidence given, and following on this, the patent confusion of the ‘guidence’ that the Vatican issued in the first place, and its supervision of this, is not a matter for any national state but the Roman Officials working in the Vatican State .. and hence covered by political immunity between states.

    Complex at first sight, perhaps, but true and important for the notion of freedom .. even for the faith-group, political party, or international movement of the next door variety – so tearing it down for the Roman church present in each nation will expose many more vulnerable liberities than that of the Vatican as a state!

    God bless, Nat.

  • ms catholic state

    Catholics of the world…..unite!

    Child abuse is truly evil and the Church must get rid of it in her midst…..including doing all to look after former victims…but believe you me…this is a Satanic ploy to destroy the Church.  And let’s remember….the Belgians have a horrific record on child abuse themselves.  Even senior police turned a deaf ear to the screams of the victims.  I don’t want to say more about the revolting case which ended with the murder of many young girls.  Belgium society like our own is rotten to the core. 

  • Nat_ons

    You may be indicted, as may I or a bishop or priest or religious or any believer accused of crime. The Southern Baptist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Church of the Latter Day Saints may not, as a body, be charged with the crimes attributable to individual members. So too with the Catholic Church at Rome in Belgium or Boston, USA; the governing body of the Latter Day Saints at Salt Lake City cannot be held responsible for the crimes commited by it adherents .. even if these adherents are following the ideology, teaching or guidence of the governing body, so too with the juridical bodies of the Souhtern Baptists or Evangelical Lutherans.

    Those governing bodies that are not also states, even nominally, are no less responsible for their governance and guidence – the Vatican State differs only in that it is also legally responsible as a state for the actions of its subjects, employees and officials (which episcopal Ordinaries and their charges are not).

    Members of the Nazi Party or the Communist Associations or of the US Administration could be charged for this type of crime, although it is unlikely; the United States of America, the Democratic Repubic of Germany or Argentina could not be hauled before the Hague to answer for the crimes of its citizens .. even if they were just following orders (only, perhaps, made answerable to political reprimand from the United Nations for any criminal lack of supervision). So President Obama while he is President, or Hilary Clinton while she is in Office, ex-presidient Bush or his senior military officials not in office could (theoretically) be sought for any crimes against humanity that a half-baked chancer of a lawyer might persuade a court to hear. Now, that understood, if a Southern Baptist missionary is arrested for crimes in Russia .. even things that are unlawful or reprimanded in the the US or Europe .. such as setting up a Christian cross in a publicly owned place, teaching children in a state school to pray to Jesus, or daring to say she’ll pray over or for a sick client in a publically funded hospital: is it the missionary, the Southern Baptist leaders, or the Administration of the USA who is responsible for this ‘crime’ (and others that may be called to mind committed decades past, that were once ignored)?

    In common sense there is no direct comparision between abusing a dependent (child or vulnerable adult) and teaching him to pray to Jesus, yet common sense is not always applied by lawyers eager to earn a buck. There is, I suspect, a more tangible ‘common sense’ connection between killing depenents (in the womb, on their death bed, or in a prison) and misusing any position of authority – this too is not always sought out by name-making lawyers. It would be as well, therefore, to hold fast to the codes of international laws that arose out the Western Catholic Scholars, the papal governance who prompted it, and the indominable lawyers who still pursue its principles: those of innocence until demonstrated otherwise (even if the ‘evidence’ seems self-evident), the application of protection under a due process of law (including subsidary discipline), and vigorously forthright inquisition only for those who seek to cover their crimes, sins and errors to avoid judgement (such as the Belgian authorities of state, of Christian oversight, and of private wrongs .. not the State of Belgium, its constitutional sovereign, or her sister monarchy in England = unless it can be shown that they did the deed, commanded it, or prompted it with personal culpability – few sensble souls would now assert that before a Belgian court of Benedict XVI, his State Officials and curial offices, or the humble pen-pushers in the Vatican State’s employment any more than they would get too far in doing so with the US, Obama, Clinton, and their clerks regarding state payment for the mass slaughter of innocents at home or abroad).

    God bless, Nat.

  • Akoni_978

    You are absolutely right. Satan with his tentacles are waging war to discredit & destroy the Church employing different tactics. No way they can destroy it as Jesus promised, “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” In fairness to all true victims but we can not truly be certain that all supposedly victims are really victims. This just my own presumption after all we’re talking about big amount of compenstions. I think there are many factors here. The money they will get, the secular media magnifying it to a thousand degree & it all boils down to their desire to destroy the Church. We know what stage we’re living right now. Help the Church by praying & really living a good Catholic Life, after all We are the Chuch.

    God bless everyone, Peace!

  • AgingPapist

    The Vatican has used the argument in an American suit brought against Pope Benedict that the bishops of the Catholic Church are not his “employees”. A curious argument which I hope the hierarchy everywhere will take cognizance of when considering taking independent action, nullifying their consecration oaths of obedience to a man who is NOT and never was the bishop’s employer ?  Or, when the time comes to establish national synods as part of a communion of  free and independent (autocephalous) churches.  Untethered from the Roman yoke and the continuing sacrilege of being associated with an institutional framework where subornation of perjury and flouting  the administration  of justice have become the order of the day and standard operating procedure for the Catholic Church. 
    The Belgian Parliament should seize all Church lands and property, and the king should declare a free and independent Belgian state church with himself as Supreme Governor.  As Rome was guilty of misrule and corruption in England in the Renaissance, so it appears the Church has learned nothing in almost five hundred years with regard to Belgium and elsewhere in Europe.

  • AgingPapist

    You are absolutely right. Satan with his tentacles are waging war to
    discredit & destroy the Church employing different tactics.
    ====================================================================
     
    No, Satan has already overtaken the Scarlet Lords of Misrule in Rome and now pulls the papal strings. Pope Paul VI warned of this and so did the elderly resident exorcist in the Vatican when Pope Benedict ascended the throne.  So, whatever happened to that exorcist?  We’ve heard not a peep from him since Benedict took office.

  • ms catholic state

    The horrifying evil beyond belief case can be read here   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Dutroux….if you can stomach it.  Lest anybody forget…..especially Belgium!

  • ms catholic state

    Sorry the above link isn’t working….the following link is working…I hope…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Dutroux

  • ms catholic state

    I mean….IF you can stomach it.

  • David Armitage

    In the same week the Belgian bishops and religious superiors agreed to compensate victims of abuse we learn that the Bishop of Middlesbrough is appealing the court’s decision to hold his diocese responsible. Doubtless the Belgian hierarchy could have engaged in years of litigation, but chose the pastoral option. I find the Bishop of Middlesbrough’s obduracy scandalous and callous.

  • Jeannieinclay

    It won’t be until bishops, archbishops and cardinals are forced to exchange their fancy frocks, often called “Vestments,” for little orange prison jumpsuits that we’ll see any change in the way in which the Holy Roman Catholic Church addresses acts of Pedophilia and Ephibophilia.  I wish the Survivors in Belgium, “Godspeed” in their lawsuit against the Vatican and Curia.  May the Holy Spirit stand alongside their attorneys and be their Advocate!  Watch out for the “Domino Affect.”  Maybe Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Austria and the nations of Africa will wake up and also sue the Vatican.  Lawsuits are long overdue!

  • Jeannieinclay

    Eventually, the legitimacy of Mussollini’s Concordat with the Vatican, which gave Her “Diplomatic Immunity” will be challenged in World Court.  Mussollini was a Fascist.  His Concordats with the Vatican shouldn’t have any more legitimacy than Hitler’s.  The Vatican practiced coverups for years.  Google, “Crimen Sollicitationis in English,” for the purpose of seeing how the Vatican demanded that all cases of Pedophilia be handled as “Pontifical Secrets,” where those participating in the tribunals would have their salvation at stake, if they spoke of the proceedings outside of the tribunal.  This included bringing allegations of abuse to the Legal Authorities.  Read it and weep!

  • Jeannieinclay

    Notice: There will be massive LAYOFFS at Gates of Hell, Inc., because legions of “Minions of Satan” are no longer necessary to destroy the Roman Catholic Church, since She is doing such a good job on Her own!

  • Jeannieinclay

    Jesus clearly taught, “My kingdom is NOT of this world.”  The Kingdom of God is in the heart of each individual, and it is ONLY this kingdom that the Gates of Hell cannot come against.  All other kingdoms,  including the Vatican, will pass away, but the kingdom built on God’s Word, in the hearts of man, is eternal.  

  • David Armitage

    Suing the self-appointed gerontocrats is a waste of time. Leave them to their antics and turn to the gospel. There is a world waiting to be saved.

  • Jeannieinclay

    If bishops are not employees of the Vatican, then Bishop Morris of Toowoomba Archdiocese in Australia should NOT have been forced to resign recently, for verbally speaking out about needed changes in doctrine regarding ordination.  Good old Archbishop Chaput of Denver was the Papal Inquisitor in the case of Archbishop Morris.  He decided, unilaterally, that Bishop Morris should be sacked by the Vatican, without any knowledge of the charges against him and who made them.  In other words, Bishop Morris could not make a defence.  The Vatican ordained him and the Vatican owned him.  He could be discharged at any moment by a whim of the Pope or his Inquisitor, Archbishop Chaput!  Now, explain why bishops aren’t employed by the Vatican!

  • Parasum

    “The Vatican State is legally responsible in all these matters only for the clerks it employs or uses, as a state.” This, & your second paragraph, bear out what I was complaining of in mentioning how the Vatican switches identities.

    All that may be legal – that does not make it in any way Christian. There is such thing as hiding behind these law in order to avoid moral responsibility. One expects better of a Church – all the more, when the Church makes much of its privileges and graces. One tries not to think about power without responsibility & whose prerogative it has been throughout the ages – but it’s hard at times not to. Hiding behiond the law is a way of ducking responsibility, of saying “It wasn’t me, guv – it’s nothing to to do with me; I’m not my brother’s keeper”. That is how Jesus did not behave. With Him, authority is never separable from responsibility; nor is privilege. *Because* He was privileged & had authority, He took responsonsibility. Do the bishops ?

    Maybe it would be better simply to regard the Vatican as a thoroughly selfish & cynical power-grabber, accept that it couldn’t care a brass farthing for Christ or his members, & ignore it; concentrating purely on the religious side of Catholicism & not bothering with the recherche stuff.

    Thanks for the reply though :)

  • Nat_ons

    True, in spirit (of contention, if not in the spirit of fraternal understanding). One of the great flaws in expressing Christian fraternity is that of weighing the need of authority for allotted elders and the right to charity for those who are led – especially the vulnerable. All too often the needs of authority pre-empt (or even irradicate) the due rights of others to charitable exercise by such authority – this is the case in the oversight of criminal activity among clerks in Roman orders and any dysfunctional collusion in its woeful mishandling – which is rightly exposed to ridicule, public inspection also due disciplinary and legal inquiry.

    Of course there are other, much less well publicised, cases of similar or worse abuses of authority; what rightly shocks most in regard to such abuse among the orthodox catholic Rites is the perversion of the Order in Sacrament and sacramental. In other words, it is the fact that the ‘fatherly’ basis of the ‘gospel ministry’ is ‘the ordered rule’ that is being preverted here, not a mere hired guardianship being abused; that is so shocking because it is an assault on the origin of all fatherhood = God. So that Rome (among others) shrank back for so long from engaging in swift inquisitorial exposure, judgement then handing over to the state of such crimes against God’s paternal care, is as shocking to us now as it was when Peter Damian exposed something similar in his Liber Gomorrhianus with its attack on laxity in oversight of clerical discipleship (that exposure being used then with as much vigour and glee by many who were against clerical authority as its counterparts are today).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liber_Gomorrhianus

    What seems to confuse a great many is why this is so. Some seek to make it merely a matter of supposed Romish authority with its blind-eyed, worldly, power-driven state-mindedness against the simple all too human needs of human sexuality – in clerical marriage, in same-sex attraction, and in moral failures. Others, like Peter Damian, see it in terms of the rank failure of local ordinaries in exercising a due authority against offenders, with rightful charity toward the victims of any such immorality who might be involved – despite guidence having been issued from apostolic time down to the latest magisterial efforts (at Rome, etc).

    The fact remains, whether or not it is pleasing to the anti-Rome brigade, that despite tardiness in implimenting its own guidence with proper clarity and due care, Rome (the Pope, his Cardinal assistants, and the Vatican State they inhabit) had a set of guidelines available and issued to all who might desire to follow them. It was in the local interpretation or application of these guidelines by this local authority that we see the serious – and perhaps criminally negligent – local lack of charity toward the victim (even, arguably, to the accused or perpetrator). Characterisitically enough, the extent to which Rome’s authorities are morally responsible for allowing this lack-a-daisical drift to exist (even knit into inhuman proportions) among those who look to it for guidence also remains moot - but criminal courts do not judge on the ethics of states or men only the failure to uphold the authority of applicable law, rule or guidence (this guidence on sexual misdemenors being in flux from the 19th century with its more nuanced socio-psychologising of almost all aspects of ‘care’ in this regard .. even ‘crime’); a question, therefore, that no human court shall fully answer de facto or de jure.

    God bless, Noel.

  • ms catholic state

    The Roman Catholic Church will never be destroyed……we have Christ God Himself’s promise on that.  But those nations that reject Christ’s Church will be destroyed…..by their evil abortion laws…..and fondness for contraception.  Justice will be done!

  • ms catholic state

    Christ’s Kingdom is in Heaven….but we pray that His Kingdom may come on earth….as it is in Heaven!  It is incumbent on us to create our kingdom’s in the image of His kingdom in heaven…..not in the image of godless secular humanism.

  • Anonymous

    So, rather than allow everbody to follow their own religion (or none) as long as they did not harm others (secularism), you would try to convert everybody to your religion – and, by extension, to YOUR version of your religion? Just what do you think should be done about those of other faiths who have such religious faith that they are not open to conversion, and what should be done about those of no religious faith who are only open to reason and therefore cannot be converted to an irrational faith? Burn them at the stake? And if others felt as strongly about THEIR version of their religion, would they be justified in doing the same? I don’t know how you think this would work, but it sounds like hell to me.

    Science is sometimes ridiculously labelled as a faith. Ridiculous because a good scientist will reject or modify a hypothesis as soon as it is disproven. The whole discipline is based on reason. A religite, on the other hand, usually holds onto faith and either explains away contradictory facts using fallacies or simply avoids confronting the contradiction (subconciously, it seems to me). This is a dangerous mindset, partly because inconvenient evils such as child abuse might be dismissed in the same way.

  • Nat_ons

    Why on God’s good earth would want that? Would have Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, or assiting ministers and civil servants hauled into court because some in the US-led forces in Iraq used hideously illegal methods to achieve the political ends desired? That may sound like a daring, useful and even moral idea, in fact it is none of these – let alone that it is clearly of doubtful legality! What this whole notion of ‘sue the chief’ really does is let the actual perpetrators off the nasty hook that they have wrought for themselves, whether willfully or unintentionally (yet obdurately).

    It is, moreover, a terrible idea to rip down legal barriers simply to get at someone, and that because they have a contiguous moral duty for a criminal. It is as though a voluntary hospital’s board were itself directly responsible because some of its doctors carried out illegal abortions and got away with it for years when local staff covered it up .. moving them to other areas in the voluntary hospital system rather than having the small minority hung out in public. With all the attendent publicity, prying into private lives, and exposure of personal tragedy (so some could rake in the bucks), this might appeal to a sense of grand gesture, it would not help the victims, the perpetrators, or the officials; of course the main US of A sense of justice seems still to be Perry Mason with Elliot Ness and the A-Team as the key characters but now with an Oprah/ Springer/ Judy show as the vehicle.

    In common parlance, this public spectacle could be termed: ‘using a sledge hammer to crack a nut’ or ‘feed them to the lions’. In fact all such circus-style judgement totally obliterates the kernel of justice when seeking merely to exert a sense of vengence for victims (or, in this instance, to score a point against authority, especially against Romish leadership, etc). Some might crow with great rejoicing to see George Bush, Tony Blair and the whole US Marine Corp hobble into a Judge Judy court room - that does not mean we all should. It might even gladen your heart to see them shackled, orange suited and degraded publically for crimes they did not commit, with accustations which couldn’t otherwise reach a court, and without the slightest hope of pelting them with bitter words, rotten fruit or hefty stones in any other way .. but that says more about you, than them (however guilty they are, in reality, of ethical laxity) – not even if it is a forced measure against popish vestment wearers.

    God bless, Noel.

  • ms catholic state

    That’s rich…..secularism harms those that can’t vote…the unborn children etc.  So not so perfect then?!  Many other faiths can live in a Catholic State….and would be delighted to.  They would be treated as we Christians would like to be treated in a Jewish or Muslim or Hindu State etc.  And I feel strongly about my faith…..so why should I cravenly support a Secular state.  Let secularists do that.

    And don’t forget…..faith and reason compliment each other.  That’s why the greatest scientists have been Christian and Jewish.  So your little theory holds no water.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that secularism (as defined by wiktionary) is not perfect, and I am not exactly a secularist myself, but I will usually jump to its defence. If there is, at a given time, insufficient knowledge to enable a precise judgement on certain moral issues, then you cannot blame secularism for differences of opinion regarding those issues, and nobody can justifiably claim the moral highground there.

    I am sure that scientists who are religious are able to think scientifically in areas of thought that do not overlap their religion. But as this story shows, they can act insanely when religion takes over.

  • ms catholic state

    Well jump to secularism’s defence all you like….but don’t expect me as a Catholic to do so.  Jesus Christ never mentioned it.  Moral issues are answered for you in complete and comprehensive way by the Church…look in the Catechism.  And don’t say anybody knows better….as we can see by the results of their fallacies….they don’t.

    The secular West is in meltdown…..and good riddance.

  • Dcruz

    it appears these lawyers and claiments are hungry to make a quick and easy buck.

  • Anonymous

    So you think that the pregnant lady and her unborn in the story that I linked to should both have been allowed to die a painful death? How is that better than saving the life of the mother and speeding the inevitable death of her unborn (and thus sparing it some pain)? For doctors to not only stand there and watch her die, but taunt her, is approaching the limits of evil, yet those doctors think that they are doing the right thing because their minds have been so twisted by religious indoctrination, as clearly your mind has been too. Do not reply that those doctors would not go to heaven if they intervened. Heaven is a made-up concept. Get real. The nurse and doctor who eventually saved the woman’s life – SAVED HER LIFE – you would condemn!

    Likewise, in the cases of discovered priestly child abuse, the priority should be reparation to the victim, not salvation for the priest.

    When Catholics are in a small minority, they may href=”http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2011/02/01/pakistan-bishops-want-religion-state-separated/”>support secularism. What is it about secularism that becomes unattractive as Catholics become greater in proportion?

  • Anonymous

    So its the lawyers and claimants who are at fault? Or is it the Belgians in general (as suggested in a comment by ms catholic state). Or is it the homosexuals, or the secularists (sorry, militant secularists), or the heretics, or the
    hippies? That’s the religious method in action – making stuff up.

  • ms catholic state

    I didn’t read the link….I don’t have a lot of time.  But the point is….you don’t take the child’s life to save the mother….and you don’t take the mother’s life to save the child.  You try to save both.  And doctors who kill ….have the blood of an innocent of their hands.  Such doctors may even decide one day to take your life…..they probably regard it as nothing too.
     
    It’s hard to support a Catholic State…when there isn’t one…isn’t it.  Sometimes they may have no choice but to support whatever is on offer.

  • Dcruz

    This is a Europeon problem and happens in every segement of Europeon society. All can have fun and make money, waste money  and file cases. 

  • SPQRatae

    One look at those lawyers is enough to tell me that concern for the victims of the filth in the Church is not the primary element of their motivation…

  • Alexbenziger

    These kind of compensation being encouraged, then all other victims of a crime have to be encouraged against the State and must be compensated by the State.   alexbenziger@aol.com

  • Anonymous

    The statute of limitations may have run out; but the ending of a legal time-period is no reason to suspend justice and morality.The law and morality are not one and the same.

  • Dcruz

    What has baffeled me most is that this scandel would not have escalated if firm action had been taken in the first place rather than get out of control and waste so much energy  and money trying to settle the matter.After one warning the priest involved should have been asked to leave the priesthood.

  • James H

    Dream on.

  • Michelle Eves

    Does the see of rome, advocate the use of diplomatic immunity as a means of avoiding difficult questions or providing immunity from the crimes of mass murderers, despots and tyrants?
    Of course he shoud be called to Belgium and made to answer or risk an eu arrest warrant.