In the movie Napoleon, Wellington has strictly forbidden his soldiers to loot on pain of death. He comes across a soldier with a chicken under his shirt. The soldier tries to come up with a convincing explanation of why there is a chicken under his shirt. Wellington turns to his aide and tells him to promote the soldier, saying, “I like someone who can defend an indefensible position.”
Fernand Keuleneer, the attorney for Cardinal Danneels has a similar task. De Standard published the transcripts of the secretly-taped conversation between the victim of Bishop Vangheluwe and Danneels. In an article in the Belgian Catholic paper Tertio (which is available in a translation here on the America blog), Keuleneer tries to explain and justify the Cardinal’s words.
Keuleneer claims that Danneels was unprepared for the meeting and thought it was an attempt to achieve family recompilation. Dannels is a victim of an unjustified attack. But if everything that Danneels said is morally and legally justifiable, why is it character assassination to print Danneels’ own words?
As Austen Ivereigh points out, Danneels was deaf to the victim’s plea for some form of justice and told the victim that it would be almost impossible to achieve and that demanding it was a form of blackmail.
Vangheluwe was not simply an abuser and a sinner, he was an evil man. In the previous post I reported how he had ordained a convicted abuser as a deacon, an abuser who had driven his victim to suicide, despite the pleas of the victim’s mother not to ordain the abuser (who then went to work in a Catholic school). Vangheluwe insisted that the victim’s family must forgive the abuser, so that the abuser would continue having contact with children. This misuse of forgiveness, which Danneels is also guilty of, is very close to the sin against the Holy Ghost.