April 11, 2012
A Belgian newspaper has reported that Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the retired Archbishop of Brussels, was notified at least 40 times about sexual abuse by priests under his jurisdiction. The cardinal’s lawyer has angrily denied the report.
Citing news leaks from a government investigation of the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, Het Laatste Nieuws said that Cardinal Danneels has testified that he was unaware of abuse complaints, and was astonished when those complaints surfaced years later.
Fernand Keuleneer, a lawyer for the cardinal, complained that the story in Het Laatste Nieuws was based on “disinformation and manipulation” of the record, and said that he would lodge a complaint about the leaks from a secret government investigation. Keuleneer said that Cardinal Danneels has already answered questions about his knowledge of the abuse complaints, and the latest story is “a bad dish, warmed over.”