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. flossaby23

    Calling All Catholic-Bashing Protestants:

    Hear ye, hear ye. Your "King James Bible" is about as useful as the Koran when it comes to understanding Jesus. You had no church until the 1530s, so if the Catholic church is such a perversion, then you are perversions of perverts. Your Bible, which you conveniently removed books from when you decided to do it "your way," is so far from Greek and Hebrew in translation as to be laughable, and your notion that the auditoriums you worship in and swimming pools you baptize in are anything but the WalMartification of Christianity is just sad.

    That said, I'm as glad they're prosecuting these perverts as the next guy, but there's plenty to bash everyone about. Just chill out on the rhetoric.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Harold

      And when you restore God's name, Jehovah, to the versions which you use, then you can talk.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • Tim

      Each and everyone of you who follow an organized religion are just sheep. Hoping that if you do what some book says, or what you interpret it to say, you will get to go to heaven. If each religion believes that only they are right and that everyone else is going to burn in eternity, then there are going to be a lot of sorry individuals out there when their time comes. How about not worrying about religion so much and just living a good life. Be nice to others and help people out.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • flossaby23

      @ harold Funny, I always thought 'God' worked just fine.

      @ Tim – I'm glad you're here to enlighten us with the same viewpoint must of us held as teenagers. You've clearly thought through the issue as well as the average 14 yr old. I'm sure you'll change a lot of minds and impress a lot of people.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • Harold

      Oh and I suppose calling you by your handle "flossaby23" means I know you as a person, how you think, your past and everything else relevant. Any relationship starts out by knowing someone's name. You worship the God of the Bible? It would seem reasonable to start by knowing His name.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ryan

      @Harold: Actually, you're quite wrong. The name of God is not Jehovah, nor was it ever. At the time the Bible was written, the letter 'J' did not even exist. That aside, if you're referring to God the Father, His name is Yahweh. If you're referring to God the Son, His name is Jesus. If you're referring to the third Person, He is the Holy Spirit. Together, they are the Holy Trinity. In general, though, God is the proper name of, well, God in English.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Harold

      @ Ryan... Wow have you even read your Bible? I'm not terribly religious but I do know that the name Jehovah has been a commonly accepted English "translation" of Yahweh for a long time. And as to the Trinity... It is one of the greatest logical fallicies in nominal Christianity. Nowhere in the Bible is the Trinity concept espoused. Just offhand, how do you reconcile the Trinity with Jesus' own words at John 14:28 the "The Father is greater than I am". Or at Jesus' baptism when the voice from heaven said, "This is my SON the beloved, listen to him". Who was he talking to? Does God have multiple personality disorder? Doesn't sound very much like a trinity of equal personalities.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Tim

      Flossaby23 you seem a bit angry. I never said that I was trying to change minds or impress people. Sounds like at age 14 you decided to just accept what others tell you and not think for yourself. A truly smart person questions things that can't be mathematically or scientifically proven rather than just accepting them. I hope for your sake that you are able to start thinking more like an adult. Take off the blinders

      June 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Ryan

      @Harold: Jehovah is a commonly accepted translation to some, not to all. And Jehovah is certainly not an Aramaic or Hebrew word. So, I don't think anyone would be calling God Jehovah in the time of Jesus (or before, either). Since you seem to put much stock in a name, I merely point out to you that the name of the Father is NOT Jehovah; it's Yahweh, then as now.

      Now, as for the Holy Trinity, in order to be a Christian, you MUST believe in the Holy Trinity, plain and simple. Moreover, it is by no means a logical fallacy, for all things predicated of God are God. Just as you are the child of human parents, and so are human, Jesus as the Son of God is God. This is true of the Holy Spirit, as well. Understand that in this context, the word "of" does from mean "from" as you seem to entertain, though the Son was sent by the Father, and so He is, in a sense, from God. Back to the matter at hand, you seem to like to quote the Bible...that's nice, because so do I. You may recall Matthew 28:18 and 19: " All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit." There's your Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Need more convincing? Try the entire Gospel of John. In particular, we have the beginning words: " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Later, we have, "And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth." And, to round it off, "No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him." Or perhaps you would prefer John 16:15: "Everything that the Father has is mine." At any rate, I don't see how you can read the Bible and conclude that Jesus is NOT God (assuming, of course, that the Bible is the sole authority upon which you base such a judgment).

      June 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  2. Jesus Saves, humans don't

    My friend, Jesus is indeed real and came for a specific purpose, that the world through Him might be saved. The actions of the Catholic church are not the actions of Christ, please do not confuse the two, for the priests are only human men, not the Son of God, and men are sinful creatures and do bad things. We know this from all world history, and in all religions too. But Jesus Christ is not the cause of these actions, He is the solution. When this church, and all others, finally heed and obey the teachings of the Gospel, this world will truly be changed into much more beauty than we can imagine today. And it will happen eventually. Like any other really great story, there's a lot of stuff that happens before you get to the happy ending. This is no different, it just happens to be a true story, and we're watching it unfold. Peace to you in Jesus' name.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Erik

      You should try actually reading world history. Religion has caused more problems from death, wars, and discrimination than anything else that man has ever created. Christians always make the excuse for bad things that Jesus will "eventually save them". Well it hasn't happened yet, and I'm pretty sure it will never happen. Oh and Jesus doesn't save, science saves and enhances everything in our world. You couldn't even post on this website without science. Please think before you type nonsense again. Thank you.

      June 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  3. MenotYou

    its hard to argue with the blind.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  4. Mike

    What is so shocking about criminals being addressed as criminals? They should be arrested and made to be Bubba's bish for a few years...

    June 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bubba

      Don't send 'em to me. I got enough problems.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  5. Brian

    The Vatican control hiearchy must end – Communism, Christianity and Islam are all the same.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • trooperchix

      As a recovering catholic and practicing pagan... Any ORGANIZED religion, regardless of its stripe, has the ability to systemically help or hurt its congregation of believers. Catholicism is simply the icing on the cake, the handbook to greed and hate. For peeved catholics out there, pick up a EUROPEAN written and published history book for a change and get a better look at reality. I spent most of my life in private catholic schools until high school. Then I took an advanced placement European history class, using above mentioned textbooks... I was shocked. The history I learned there rocked my faith to the core. I then spent a great deal of time trying to debunk what I learned. And I couldn't. 10 years of catholic school skewed history came crashing down. I learned that being involved in organized catholicism only made me complicit in the crimes against humanity catholicism and specifically the greed and power mongering the Vatican has been emblematic of. For the sake of my own sense of spirituality, I had to walk away. Why paganism? I still have a sense of spirituality and worship the tangible, something I don't need an organized religion to "guide" (aka limit) me.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Angry Catholic


      the same is true for any organization. There are people who corrupt. Look at the goverment, the school system, the unions, the soccor team, the mafia, walmart, etc. To condemn all religion is misguided.

      However, I will take you up on your european history book idea. It sounds interesting.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  6. MenotYou

    tamars – That would be city-state. Perhaps you should follow your own advice and study punctuation.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  7. calvin

    ...our chief weapon is suprise.... suprise and fear...our TWO weapons, suprise, fear.....and ruthless effeciency. THREE weapons....

    June 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  8. dog

    jesus is real sound like you need him

    June 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  9. ART

    If you cannot police yourselves then it needs to be done for you. Catholics need to stop the hypocrisy

    June 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  10. Bblove

    Oh no! The violation of tombs! Just like the violation of all those childrens a**holes by perverted old men who need to be in prison not telling others how to live right

    June 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Joe Friday

    what would Jesus do?

    what a bunch of hypocrites, frauds, and dirty old men!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • brad

      he told me he will suddenly rise from the earth as this is the third day and perform everything not yet fullfilled in his word he that fears at gods word will be wise he that eats not his flesh and drinks not his blood has not life but he that does even the gates of hell shall not prevail for the kingdom of god is come repent and believe the word and you will be saved that simple free gift that none are worthy to recieve but only through faith in jesus it is finished he that endures to the end the same is saved the good word is that bread that if u eat shall never die do you believe me

      June 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  12. Andrewh

    Thumbs up – it's about time they start doing this.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  13. Julius

    I think that the Pope and the entire catholic church should be boycotted!

    June 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm |

      You must be a Protestant religious nut. Of course your ministers never commit a crime. And you all believe that it is ok to kill someone who is performing abortion, which is legal in our country.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  14. mark Fausnaugh

    shocked that they would be treated like every body else in that same sittuation? ha! welcome to the new world order , no more hiding behind your robes. A crime is a crime, and you have no special rights. YES!

    June 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  15. In Michigan

    Those responsible for the transgressions against children should definitely be punished. I do not agree with the Pope and others trying to "sweep it under a rug". Take your lumps and do what is right.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Joe Catholic

    Good job, Belgian police!!! These pervert child rapists are no better than any other common criminal and should be afforded absolutely ZERO special treatment because they are "religious" people.....no matter what the Pope or his cronies say.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  17. Tim

    I hope those sodomites get the same done to them 1000 times over in prison. Wishful thinking on my part. As usual, all there transgressions will be swept under the rug. How thousands of priests and others associated with the catholic religion are not rotting in prison, just boggles the mind.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  18. Wraith

    What I would like to know is when are they finally going to send the SWAT Teams into the Vatican? When that happens I'm going to celebrate over a bottle of champagne.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • ChemMJW

      You better put that champagne on ice, then. Perhaps you are unaware that the Vatican is a sovereign nation? Unless the Vatican decides to send its own SWAT teams to attack itself, then what you have described won't be happening, well, ever.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Wraith

      You're absolutely correct it is a sovereign state. And we all know sovereign states are never invaded by foreign powers 😉

      June 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • trooperchix

      ChemMJW: Yeah, a sovereign state created under Mussolini's fascist nazi loving state... as an agreement to allow fascism and catholicism to coexist without the pope sticking his foot into politics. Yeah, I'd be proud of my Nazi loving history if I were a religion...

      June 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  19. In Michigan

    Robert, you may believe that the Roman Catholic Church will take millions to hell, but that is your opinion. This unfortunate debacle that the Catholic Church is dealing with does not describe the Catholic Church as a whole. Reality is, the Catholic Church does know the gospel and some "bad apples" do not represent the whole tree. I am shocked to hear about the raids, but cannot come to a conclusion as to whether I believe it was right or wrong.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
    • Rev Lama

      An organization that systematically shelters and protects their "bad apples", i.e. child molesters, is poisoning the whole tree. When the "infallible" leader of the organization is party to preventing authorities from pursuing and capturing criminals, that taints every person involved. That the vatican – and you – are "shocked" that the police are legitimately looking for evidence of a crime at the location of the alleged crime and the alleged criminals residence and workplace is just further proof that there is no real desire for justice in these cases.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tim

      This is a little more than a "debacle" you moron. This is a felony. Maybe if you had a daughter and the same thing happened to her, you might feel a little differently. Get your head out of the sand.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • trooperchix

      If a tree was faltering, showing disease on one limb, would would cut it off an the rest of the tree would recover. If your tree was showing systemic disease, you'd take the whole sucker down and plant a new one. My point is this: If catholicism is really that important to you, be catholic. Does being catholic mean you cannot think for yourself or be spiritual on your own? Do you have to be kool-aid fed every week because you are weak minded? If an organized structure is what you need, start anew. for thousands of years religions have splintered off and planted themselves anew because of such issues. When will the good catholics pull their heads out and start their religion anew? Remember, there was a time in history when there was two vaticans... If you really truly are good and righteous people, wouldn't you think the diseased tree would wither away and your beliefs in God make you robust and new again?

      June 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      The problem is not isolated. It has happened in every state, in every country where catholics have a presence. It has a root cause, this rotting tree of religion.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      Selfish Gene, there are 1 billions Catholics, to say that it has happened in every state in every country there is Catholicism is the same as saying it has happened in every state and every country with people, or air.

      I supposed we should all act civilized and punish the guilty in the Catholic church as we do in other religions and everywhere else in our country/world.

      June 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • TruthAndJustice

      You're right. The pedophilia is the actions of a few rogue Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic Church should not be condemned for the actions of rogue priests. The Roman Catholic Church should, however, should be condemned for their Mary worship, rebellion against God by forsaking Christ and following the Pope, and general disregard for anything the Bible has to say.

      June 27, 2010 at 4:41 am |
  20. Juan Jimenez

    The world would be a much more peaceful place to live if all the organized religions simply disappeared for good.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Betty

      AMEN! to that 🙂

      June 25, 2010 at 3:08 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.