Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vatican blasts Belgian police raid; Sex abuse victims blast Vatican

Vatican blasts Belgian police raid; Sex abuse victims blast Vatican

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach California, Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com)

Vatican officials who criticize the Belgian police raid of the Brussels church hierarchy should be ashamed of themselves. Cardinal Bertone should especially be ashamed of himself. Two weeks ago, Bertone’s boss claimed church officials will “do everything possible” to stop future child sexual violations. Today, Bertone is prematurely and irresponsibly lashing out at what may prove to be an extremely effective way of doing that.

While Roman church officials talk about stopping abuse, Belgian police officials take action to stop abuse. Reasonable observers know which group deserves condemnation.

It’s the height of hypocrisy that Bertone expresses more outrage about police looking inside two burial vaults than he’s ever really expressed about his colleagues who hide and protect predator priests. Hundreds of thousands of innocent girls and boys are sexually violated by clerics and Bertone blames homosexuality. Two tombs are inspected and Bertone is “indignant” about the so-called “violations.”

Belgian church officials who are taking potshots at law enforcement should also be ashamed of themselves. No police officer tells a prelate how to give the Easter homily. Similarly, no Catholic bishop should try to tell police how to conduct a raid to get evidence about child sex crimes and cover ups.

These are the same Vatican officials whose official Irish representative refused to cooperate with two governmental inquiries into decades of corruption.

These are the same Vatican officials that are fighting tooth and nail to block efforts by several US clergy sex abuse victims to gain access to secret church records about crimes and cover ups.

These are the same Vatican officials who have virtually never been forthcoming about clergy sex crimes or cover ups.

These are the same Vatican officials who have virtually never cooperated with any outside drive to learn about or prevent devastating child sexual abuse.

And now they have the audacity to criticize police for doing their jobs.

We know of only one other such police raid of a church headquarters, which took place in Toledo Ohio in the US several years ago. Evidence found was later used in a criminal trial at which a Catholic priest was convicted of brutally murdering a nun. (No Vatican official expressed indignation about the nun’s murder, or the efforts of Toledo diocesan staff to protect the murderer.)

That murderous priest, it should be noted, is in prison but has yet to be defrocked by the same Vatican officials who are now expressing such “indignation” that police looked inside two tombs where two deceased bishops are buried.

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