Monday, August 30, 2010

As damaging secret tapes emerge, Belgian Cardinal says he was 'naive' to meet sex abuse victim

As damaging secret tapes emerge, Belgian Cardinal says he was 'naive' to meet sex abuse victim
By The Associated Press (CP) – 2 hours ago

BRUSSELS — A spokesman for the former head of the Belgian Roman Catholic Church says his boss has acknowledged being "naive" in attending a meeting with a victim of an abusive bishop.

In that meeting, retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels suggested keeping a sexual molestation case secret until the bishop retired. The victim had taped the meeting and the conversation was published in two newspapers over the weekend.

Danneels spokesman Toon Osaer says Danneels was unprepared for the meeting. After the tapes' publication, he has faced criticism for his suggestion the abuse be kept secret.

Also Monday, Belgian church spokesman Jurgen Mettepenningen said the church was preparing a new initiative to deal with the sex abuse issue.

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