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. miss ann thrope

    Oh, Jesus was real. He existed, approximately 2,000 years ago, give or take a decade. His claim to being a son of a god is open to debate, I'll agree.

    That said, the way he kicked butt in the temples, overturning tables and whatnot? I think he'd be leading the charge with the police who raided these places.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  2. House

    How about we stop blaming the church, vatican, pope etc and start putting the onus on Parents. If parents are so dumb to put their kids through hell, they have no right to have kids. I cannot comment on jesus and I practice hinduism. I can say one thing irrespective of which religion you follow every one has F'ed up priests.


    June 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • trooperchix

      In defense of parents... In love and faith parents entrust their kids to their congregational leaders. It's those congregational leaders who abuse them. For all those religious kool aid drinkers out there... I would bet you dollar for dollar the parents of those abused kids were just as devout as you are!

      June 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  3. ATL_Mike_former_catholic_proud_atheist

    The entire church, including the pope, are child molesters. There is no in-between. You are either for it, or absolutely against it. You cannot say that “I don’t believe in child molestation” yet help those molesters by transferring them, hiding them, and not reporting them to the law. Of all groups, children are the most vulnerable and the church let them down. Bottom-line, you may not molest, but if you support those who do, you are no better if not worse, condone the activity and should be labeled a molester. Thus the pope and church are nothing but a no good molesting organization brainwashing the simple minds of society. Think for yourself, knowledge is a weapon.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bleeeehhhhh

      Wow, thank you for your insightful and nuanced position! It's obvious from your insightful screen name that you are clearly in a position to comment on this issue in an unbiased manner!

      If you are the future of American discourse on religion, needless to say the future is BRIGHT!!

      June 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • ATL_Mike_former_catholic_proud_atheist

      I wish I could be as optimistic as you. The number of individuals that choose to kill, lie, cheat, hate and prejudge in the name of God far outweighs the number of those who lack the fear to think for themselves.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • ATL_Mike_former_catholic_proud_atheist

      There you go again, blaming the media.

      The real truth is that the church should not have put themselves into this position to begin with. If they actually believed in and acted in the way of what they were preaching all those years and brought the molesters to justice, then I would agree and actually praise the church for acting in accordance with the law and supporting the most vulnerable.

      But the fact remains; the church covered up and protected molesters for years. As in my earlier post, there is no in-between. You are either for it, or absolutely against it. You cannot say that “I don’t believe in child molestation” yet help those molesters by transferring them, hiding them, and not reporting them to the law. If that is the case, it is just as bad if not worse. Thus the pope and church are nothing but a no good molesting organization brainwashing the simple minds of society.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  4. Angry Catholic

    Mark do you support bank robberies?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  5. Angry Catholic

    lets say their are 1,000 guilty Cathlics. 1:100,000,000

    Now look at bank robberies each year vs US population = 1:42,857

    Would you lock up the entire popultion of the US for acts of a few?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      lets say there have been 10,000 priests convicted.... the church paid out over 2.9 billion in out of court settlements.... its not a small number... there are countless numbers of peds that the church has harbored.... get a life

      June 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      If 10,000 is correct than yes that is eye opening. And you are correct 2.8 billion is a large number of anything. The number of 'peds' is not countless, you counted the convicted ones. I don't understand your comment to get a life, I was just proving a point. It had nothing to do with my life. You however didn't make a point, only stated (maybe correct) facts.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  6. Rene

    Save me Jesus! Save me Allah! Save me Buddha!

    I'm just joking. My luck and life changed for the better after I stopped wasting my time, and money, on religious malarchy!

    NO, I don't need any religion in my life!

    If any of these religions truly had any connection to GOD, they wouldn't constantly be badgering their members for MONEY!

    Yes, I believe in GOD. But, not in RELIGION!

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

      This is probably one of the most intelligent statements I've read to date. And I am not being sarcastic.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      how do you think a church keeps their lights on? or any building for that matter?

      What about the millions of dollars spent each year to fill food pantries for the less fortunate. Is that a bad reason to ask for money?

      My priest lives on $16,000 a year.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  7. JAY!


    June 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  8. cmw


    you are wrong, protestant ministers abuse children at a higher percentage than Catholics. If the actual numbers were equal then protestants would be in the public bulls-eye. thankfully for all innocent-they are not

    June 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Mike

    Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people.

    They talk about how being gay is against nature, yet a space man impregnating a virgin, making a women out of a mans rib, a snake talking to said women and a man parting a freakin SEA are perfectly inline with nature... Don't argue with the Jesus freaks, there is no winning... only frustration.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  10. jim atmadison

    Married priests? No way. Woman priests? Nuh-uh.

    Active pedophile priests? No problem.

    And how DARE the authorities try to protect the children from these creeps?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      you said that wrong...i think

      June 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ficheye

      He was being sarcastic.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      oh right. now I agree.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  11. chicagoirish

    I am pretty sure preachers and people of authority in other religions abuse children...why is everyone attacking ONLY the catholic church? It doesn't matter what religion you are or believe in, there are bad things happening in those religions as well.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      good point. it is actually just as big of a problem in the Methodist faith but isn't reported on as much. The Catholics get the brunt of the news storys because of the size of the organization. The same as why US news is heard instantly around the globe, because of the size and importance of this country.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • trooperchix

      Do Methodists as a matter of policy KNOWINGLY protect their abusers and harass their victims? The catholic church has this coming..

      June 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      I don't know what their policy is. I do know there are lists of hundreds of them as well. However, I am in favor any measure it takes to arrest these church officals.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
    • natalie

      I always get annoyed by this statement from Catholics. Yes, other orginzatons have members who molest, h owever, NONE of them protect the abusers. Why can't Catholics get their head around that?. Protestant Molesters go to JAIL-School employees who molest are reported to Police. Please, Name me ONE other organization that protected its Child Molesters, Possibly the Mormon fundamentalist who are condemned by the established Mormon Church, and last I checked they are regularly raided by Police and Warren Jeffs is in jail Please Catholics -give me one-just one! example of a mainstream religion or organization that has protected serial child rapists to the extent of the Catholic Church. Please!!!!!

      June 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  12. Charlie

    If Jesus is real, where is he? Don't you think it's time to stop believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Grow up people. There ain't no god and if jesus was alive today he would be put int he nut house where he probably belonged 2000 years ago. Friggin idiots. There isn't one shred of evidence that is meaningful about god's existence and 2000 years ago people communicated by rumor.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  13. rufus

    Jesus was the Bernie Madoff of his time. And, the con game continues!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Bo

    About freaking time – congratulations to Belgium for discovering and understanding that the church have no intention to act on or deal with such crimes. It is shocking a organization like the vertican is still allowed to operate legally around the world while completely hiding its organization and objectives from the public.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  15. Mike Welch

    Perhaps a better script for the Vatican spin masters would have gone something like: "We are shocked to learn of child abuse allegations and welcome the efforts of Belgian authorities in finding the truth of this situation". There now.. was that so hard?

    June 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  16. trailerbride

    Jesus is coming... look busy!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • Angry Catholic

      lol. that would be a great bumper sticker.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • trooperchix

      ...it is a bumper sticker. Kudos to you for keeping your eyes on the road!!

      June 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  17. salvation

    "let he who is without sin cast the first stone"

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

      So only someone who is perfect can point out bad things. What if I witness a murder and earlier that day I had an impure thought, am I not allowed to tell the police and be a witness. I have always found that to be one of the dumbest things from the bible.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  18. Angry Catholic

    Where do you put 1 billion prison-worthy people? I guess maybe we should only convict the couple hundred guilty ones....

    June 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  19. Dcd

    they found water on Mars...

    June 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  20. Ian

    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms

    June 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
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About this blog

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.