Sex abuse: Belgian Cardinal offered to hush up case

The cardinal had held secret meeting with the bishop and sexual abuse victim.

Brussels: Roman Catholic Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium offered to keep a sexual molestation case against a bishop secret until the bishop retired, an official said on Saturday.

Toon Osaer, Danneels` spokesman, confirmed a report in yesterday’s De Standaard newspaper about a secretly taped meeting that Danneels held on April 08 with Belgian Bishop Roger Vangheluwe and the bishop`s sexual abuse victim.

Osaer told the VRT television and radio network that Danneels told the victim the case against Vangheluwe could be kept quiet until the bishop retired as scheduled a year later.

In the end, Vangheluwe resigned two weeks after the meeting, expressing sorrow for having abused the victim as a youngster for years, both while serving as a priest and a bishop.

Danneels retired as head of the Belgian Catholic church in January. But police later questioned him as a potential witness in the case and raided his home and office, confiscating documents and a personal computer.


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