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June 25th, 2010
11:24 AM ET

Vatican expresses shock over police raids following sex abuse claims

The Vatican is expressing "shock" over the manner in which raids were carried out Thursday in Belgium following accusations of child sex abuse involving church figures.

The Vatican in a statement Friday registered "strong shock for the manner in which some of the raids were carried out yesterday by the judicial Belgian authorities" and expressed indignation that two cardinals' tombs were violated.

"We also express our regret at some of the infringement of confidentiality, that those victims on whose name the raid were conducted have the right to."

The Vatican also reaffirmed its "strong condemnation of any sinful and criminal abuse of minors by members of the Church" and cited "the need to repair and confront such acts in conformity with the law and teachings of the Gospel."

Police raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic Church and searched for important documents in relation to their investigation, police spokesman Jean Marc Meilleur said on Thursday.  They also raided the home of  Godfried Danneels, the former archbishop of the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese, according to several media reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Sex abuse

soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Brad

    Actually, Jesus was a real person, however, he was not son of God, he was just a normal man with a realy great talent for speaking and manipulation.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Angry Catholic

    You can't blame a billion people for the actions of a few. However, you can blame the church for shuffling problem priests around.

    I can't wait the police around the globe begin to pull these weeds out. The Pope needs to tighten his fist or step down.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  3. kingsaint

    All christian faiths should stand together as brothers,
    Your religion bashing divides Christs family.
    We are all Church's of sinners, that is why we need Christ and Unity.
    Evil is smiling upon you today.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      Amen.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • Ituri

      Evil exists THROUGH religion, despite its name or "branch." Far better to exclude it from your life. Living a good life full of purpose and love does NOT require obeyance to archaic rituals and dead gods.

      No religion gets a freebie, btw. The days of "the church is exempt from the rules of society" are over, and gladly so.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      catholics arent christian ... they are catholics.... they dont acknowledge the presb, nethodist, or baptist if they are at communion... iuts a closed table...

      June 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  4. julio cesar

    what the church needs to allow happen is to let priests marry. Only Christ is perfect, and yet while the Protestants are guilty of other sins they do not abuse children to the scale of the Catholic Church

    June 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  5. fAME mO

    " 'shock' over the manner in which raids were carried out "
    Like just general Crusades shock or Spanish Inquisition shock?
    Or were they as shocked as I was when I learned about the transferring/hiding of accused priests in the US?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  6. julio cesar

    what the church needs to allow happen is to let priests marry. Only Christ is perfect, and yet while the Protestants are guilty of other sins they do not abuse children to the scale of the Cathilic Church

    June 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Michael

    Yet again the Catholic Church plays the victim card...

    June 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  8. Doug

    I'm a Catholic but have no sympathy for the Church on this one. They are not above the law and if a Priest breaks the law he's subject to the same investigative process as anyone else. The Church should focus more on the problems of child abuse within its ranks and less on whining about the legal fallout that results.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  9. AMP

    Vatican is fully responsible for all the misdid in the Churches around the World. In stead of concentrating of converting people from other religions, they should educate their pastors to stop molesting kids and should help poor christians who are were converted but then left alone and are now begging on the street.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  10. johnie

    i applaud this action finally taken by police in this matter, and i express shock that these abuse allegations took so long to be formally investigated. kudos cops, lets move forward toward the truth and bust any and all guilty parties., and as far as the tombs being desecrated, these people need to realize that not everyone believes what they believe, and when it comes to breaking the law, your non-earthly law means nothing. -besides can't you just pray you're way out of this?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  11. Lulu

    Wow, so much condemnation in the comments on so little info. The Vatican was not protesting that the raids occurred, but the manner in which they were carried out – confidentiality of victims was compromised, tombs were opened without reason, etc. Just because some priests are perverts, you cannot condemn the whole Church. Many horrible things are done by people claiming to be holy (indeed, making the claim is a good way to access victims no matter what your intended crime), but that doesn't mean organized religion is worthless.

    So many people hate the Vatican, the Catholic Church, Christians, or just religion in general ... why ? What purpose does it serve for you ? Hatred does more damage to the person holding onto it, than to its objects.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tim

      Lulu, you comment..."Hatred does more damage to the person holding onto it, than to its objects" is as stupid as the saying "money can't buy happiess". Poor people who never had money say that. There are a lot of things that I hate, and I assure you they don't cause me any damage. I just avoid the things I hate. Problem solved.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bryan

      I think what you are seeing is a backlash against religious privilege. The faithful have for centuries held themselves up as models for living the righteous life despite the fact that they continue to harbor, aid, and abed, criminals in their ranks. There is also the fact that religion is often used to control the faithful and in many cases, move them to commit atrocities. Perhaps if more religions would give up the proselytizing and warmongering and would simply focus on peacefully practicing their faith while leaving governing to the secular society, so that all are treated equally, people would not be so quick to revel in the schadenfreude.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  12. Mary S. Lynn

    This raid sets a needed precedent. Bravo.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  13. My Name is Bob

    Jesus loves the little children, just not in that icky Catholic priest sort of way...

    June 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  14. Niels

    As the Vatican has let abuse happening while basicly doing cover ups for say the last 40 years they should be a bit more humble in this.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  15. Howie

    All Religion is EVIL. There is no God! Worship mathematics if you must bow to something, but belief in the big man in the sky is just not rational. A previous poster called it a mental illness. I agree wholeheartedly. Ignoring the evidence of science, experience, history, your own senses, in support of a hypothesis that has ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTING IT, is crazy. These priests are just proof that the salespeople don't even buy their own product. If they really believed in all the hellfire and damnation stuff, do think they'd diddle little kids?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • Lulu

      You don't have to believe what I believe, but don't call me ( and the billions of others who believe in something higher than themselves) mentally ill. Perhaps you are the one who is mentally ill, unable to grasp that perhaps something more than Math & Physics is responsible for the wonder around us.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Wraith

      Really Howie, I dont have any love for religion, but seriously man. Name calling and arrogant contempt for individuals does no good to the argument you are making. I don't care who you are, behave rationally and civilized.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Tim

      Howie, you are spot on. Lulu, you are not mentally ill, just stupid...like the billions that you speak of. If I told you that I was god, you would not believe me. But since you read it in some old book (that for all you know was the ranting of some delusional men a few thousand years ago) you will accept that. That is stupid! Wake up and start thinking for yourself, if you can.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Wraith

      Tim, you too. If the legitimate argument against religion and for rationalism is going to carry any weight, than people such as you and Howie are going have to learn to speak and act rationally yourself. Watch the rudeness.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  16. Bird

    Jesus was a man. He lived. He died. So is is very real.

    And he is the savior so... i'll pray for you.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  17. OneAM

    Finally!! A country where the police have enough courage to do what they're supposed to do. excellent!!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • OneAM

      If I ever have enough money to visit Europe, I'm definitely stopping by there!

      June 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    I believe in having respect for the Church, even though I'm not Catholic. However, I think the Catholic church has kinda brought this on themselves. Stories of abuse are worldwide. It seems to me something has gone very wrong. And it does seem as if the Vatican thinks they are apart from the law, separate from it, possibly even immune. And trying to maintain their dignity. I don't think dignity has much to do with it. It would be better to repent. The monks of old knew how to humble themselves. I admired that monk who took over the Boston diocese. He drove an old clunker of a car and wore a drab brown robe and lived in simplicity. He was interesting. I'd like to see more of it, all up the line. He gave a better example of Christianity than all the pomp and glory of Rome, in my opinion.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  19. joshuafisher28

    the catholic church reminds me of the pharisiees & saduccees that jesus spoke out against in ministry on earth. Jesus preached we are to follow Gods law and mans law so they are showing they have no respect for either. God will judge them far worse then any court system here and the bible teachs that if we don't except Jesus Christ as our savior then we face a eternity in the lake of fire. the catholics don't preach this there for they have sealed there fate according to the Bible God's Holy Word. by the way before someone of another religion comments on this comment. Know that thousands and thousands of Baptist Christians were brutal tourchered and murdered by the roman Catholics during the dark ages and the crusades right next to muslims, atheist and anyone else that didn't fall in line with the Catholic laws.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  20. Kermit Roosevelt

    As a Catholic, I support this, because if we expect to be able to raid Muslim mosques for potential terror suspects we should be able to raid any other religious house of worship if there is substantive evidence of wrongdoing.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • trooperchix

      here here!!!

      June 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.