Europe

Who are the Belgians?

0
By Peter Berger | 13 July 2010

On June 27, 2010, Belgian police raided the offices of the Roman Catholic  Bishops’ Conference in Brussels while a meeting of that organization was going on. The police was looking for evidence of cover-ups of crimes of child abuse by members of the clergy. While a search of the premises was undertaken, a group of bishops was detained for nine hours. In a protest the Belgian archbishop, Andre-Joseph Leonard, described the raid as “worthy ofThe Da Vinci Code”. Police also raided the home of Leonard’s predecessor, Godfried Danneels, seizing various computers. The church’s finance department was also raided and all its computers were taken away. No one can accuse the Belgian authorities of taking this matter lightly. This must have been the biggest police operation in recent Belgian history.  But there is a peculiarly bizarre part of the operation:  The police drilled into the tombs of two former archbishops, Cardinals Jozef-Ernest Van Roey and Leon-Josef Suenens, using cameras to find documents.

 

mannekin_pis

 

What on earth could they have been looking for? Child pornography entombed with the cardinals… in imitation of concubines buried along with Egyptian pharaohs? Or did the police expect the cameras to find films of necrophiliac orgies?  The Vatican, in protesting the entire action, expressed particular outrage at the extension of the crusade against clerical lechery from the living to the dead.  Those of us who are not directly involved with this episode will be not so much outraged as puzzled:  What is it with the Belgians ?

Given the fact that Belgium is not only situated in the heart of Europe but, as the headquarters of the European Union, is Europe’s capital, most of us (myself included) know rather little about it. I visited Belgium only once, years ago, for some conference or other in Brussels. The conference had nothing to do with Belgium. I recall being impressed by three things—the excellence of the cuisine, the splendor of the Place d’Armes in the heart of the old city, and how small is the statue of Manneken Pis, the urinating small boy who is the main Brussels tourist attraction. (The story is that the boy was lost and his father promised to erect a statue if the boy is recovered – a statue depicting him doing whatever he was doing at the moment of recovery.)  Beyond that, my knowledge of things Belgian is lamentably meager. What doI know?

 

Read more…

About the author / 

Admin

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

jga bookreview


jga bookreview


cesran_unai


jga bookreview


jga bookreview


jga bookreview


jga bookreview


jga bookreview


jga bookreview


jga bookreview

CESRAN Blog

  • New Issue is Out Now!

    Vol. IV | No. V – October-November-December 2018 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 04-06…..World News by Furkan Sahin  08-20…..Terrorism in Syria and Beyond: An Interview with Prof. Alain Gabon by Dr. Rahman Dag 22-24…..Erdogan’s Best Shot is Still in the West by Dr. Murat Ulgul 26-30…..Raqqa vs Kobani – Terrorism vs Revolution by Dr. Rahman Dag 32-34…..Future of…

  • Domestic Politics and the Design of International Institutions

    Abstract Scholars are increasing focused on how and why states design international institutions. International relations theories have historically guided research on these institutions, but have not provided adequate insights into the theoretical bases for their design. Rationalists’ theories of domestic politics offer an alternative approach to understanding institutional design. This study utilizes the positive theory…

  • Five generations after the Balfour Declaration: How do Palestinians Resist and Engender Significant Social Change?

    How to Cite: SELLICK, P. (2018), Five generations after the Balfour Declaration: How do Palestinians Resist and Engender Significant Social Change?. Journal of Conlicft Transformation and Security, 6(2): 139–142. The context of Israeli expansion and Palestinian dispossession Over the past year, a series of anniversaries has occurred which marks the progressive dispossession and displacement of the Palestinians….

  • CESRAN International named the World’s #83 “Best Independent Think Tank”

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named the world’s number 83 “Best Independent Think Tank”. The ranking was announced in the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report compiled by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the Lauder Institute. CESRAN International was also ranked 77th among the “Top Environment…

  • The Current State of AI as We Begin 2018

    Artificial intelligence (AI) states one recent article is no smarter than a six-year-old. A study that appeared last summer compared the intelligence quotient (IQ) of Google, Apple, Baidu, and Bing AI to the average human 18, 12, and 6-year-olds. The 6-year-old’s IQ was rated at 55.5 while the 12 and 18-year-olds rated 84.5 and 97.0 respectively. The end result rated…