Bishopaccountability.org | The Monitor | Operation Chalice | January 20, 2012
In an unprecedented move this week, federal prosecutors in Belgium sent search teams into the headquarters of all eight of the country’s Catholic dioceses. On Monday, detectives confiscated files from the offices of the archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussel and the dioceses of Antwerp and Hasselt; on Tuesday, from the dioceses of Bruges and Ghent and the office of a religious order; and on Wednesday, from the dioceses of Liège, Namur, and Tournai.
This is the first time that an entire nation’s Catholic hierarchy has been investigated by civil authorities. Part of an extensive investigation called “Operation Chalice,” this week’s sweep generated more than 50 priest personnel files. Prosecutors will examine them for evidence that church officials culpably mismanaged abusive clergy.
Prosecutors are particularly interested in abusers supervised by former Bruges bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who resigned in April 2010 after admitting to molesting his nephew for years. Belgian church officials subsequently acknowledged complaints from hundreds of victims, including 13 who committed suicide.
The world first learned of Operation Chalice (see overview here) on June 24, 2010, when armed Belgian police seized hundreds of records from the former archbishop’s home and office and searched two prelates’ tombs. Belgian courts ultimately ruled the files inadmissible but allowed the investigation to continue.
CASNI comment: Bishop Noel Teanor, once based in Brussels, must have had his head in the sand when the country and city were overrun with paedophile priests. The forces of law and order are now scouring the tombs and vaults of the Roman Catholic Church in Brussels taking any cover-up documents relating to the rape and torture of catholic children. hH now wants to keep a similar saga of abuse buried in Down and Conor!
The Stormont Executive is aiding his wish at present by delaying the promised open and transparent public inquiry into historical incidents of child abuse committed in the Roman Catholic children’s homes. This is what the victims want!