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. neil

    Thats what this is all about. Giving anti-Catholics prompts for acting rude.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      your wrong... im anti catholic at times becasue the church has harbored pedaphiles and the followqerrs care more about the church that those it hurts .... but im not rude.... i am Christian... not catholic ... big diff in my eyes

      June 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • Joseph

      I am not anti-catholic. I am anti-Vatican. Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the 12 leaders started a church not a state. Just my opinion – no disrespect meant.

      June 26, 2010 at 12:42 am |
  2. ATL_Mike_former_catholic_proud_atheist

    There you go again, blaming the media, blaming CNN...

    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.

    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. Knowledge is Power, open you mind.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Randoms

    Save it. Your organisation has been found guilty and admitted to crimes against children. I expect you should be subject to searches with reason. Reason. Reason. Reason. Get it?

    June 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bllleeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh

      yes, like the reason that only finds epistemic security in God.

      June 25, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  4. Boodyism

    My sister's kid goes to elementary Catholic School and everytime he mentions something about Jesus or God or what not I tell him that they are only stories ... good stories, but only stories nonetheless. I like when he talks about Genesis because then I can talk to him about natural selection and the Theory of Evolution because Creationism and Intelligent Design are, like religion, just philosophical ideas about how to live life and have no basis in the real world of science. LOL – and my sis and brother-in-law think I'm a baaaaaaddddd influence!

    June 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bllleeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh

      ...while i fully support the modern synthesis in biology, you're aware that the theory of evolution is just as much not a "fact" as intelligent design is, right? while it does do a much better job of fitting the data that we do have...it is also an interpretation of the data, something that goes outside of the scope of "science".

      i can't remember who it was exactly, but a philosopher of science once said "evolution isn't scientific...it's a highly successful metaphysical research program".

      June 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  5. Valrog

    Hmph. The Pope made a great public show in front of tens of thousands of saying that he was for justice and now he backtracks? He gave his word that there would be "actions". What actions did he take? What value do his words have?

    These crimes are very hard to prove as the victims need people who have knowledge of the crimes to come forward. It doesn't matter what lawyer you go to unless there are witnesses who are wiling to speak. Has he handed over all relevant information to the authorities? So far he hasn't done a thing.

    And now when the police are dispensing justice, he expresses "shock"? Why wasn't he shocked when the priests and bishops were raping children?

    Shame on you, Benedict!

    June 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  6. Larry

    Its time the pope got serious about this problem. Apologies are not enough. Allowing Priest and Nuns to marry would go along way in solving this problem. its only natural.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  7. neil

    Hitler was a Darwinist, from the land of Luther and Neitzche.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  8. neil

    "Where was the catholic church then? what side was the vatican on in that war?" - You should look into that

    June 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  9. neil

    These stories feed and survive on prejudice hatred of Catholics. Nothing is explained in this article beyond a Church HQ was raided and Catholics were shocked. They do not mention a specific crime, what the police were looking for and what they found. But it is phrased to sto sympathize with the raiders, which only suceeds if readers are blinded by a prejudice and have they're minds made up that all Catholics are guilty of some crime

    June 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  10. Selfish Gene

    I find your reference to Kristallnacht. Where was the catholic church then? what side was the vatican on in that war?

    And what does your church say about drama queens?

    June 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jack

      Catholics were already being oppressed and killed by the Nazis. More than just 6M Jews died in the camps. Duh! You are so brainwashed.

      June 25, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  11. NeTxJoe

    I believe that Jesus existed, and there have been times in my life, my faith in the fact that he was the son of God waivered. I do believe that God exist, and it is not his judgement nor will that these people carry out such horrible acts. These are the acts of very sick people, who should be held accountable for their actions. I do not understand why the Vatican would be shocked at this sort of response to those allegations. If there was a cooperate base of operations for a buisness that harbored fugitives such as these, the CEO/Owner of said company would have charges brought against him, as if he had commited the crime himself. Why should it be so different for religous based orgs? I am sorry, if you know this kind of act is going on in churches that you are supposed to oversea, and you do nothing to promote the ousting of said perversions, I see no difference then you committing that act yourself.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  12. neil

    Every single article involving the Catholic Church on CNN is phrased to to blight and damage the Church's reputation.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      the real truth hurts.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  13. neil

    I'm getting really sick of CNN's Anti-Catholicism. They brand this article 'Vatican shocked at police raids' and imply a stuffy obliviousness to crimes. BingoBanzai says, "They are 'shocked' at being caught out more like it" Caught doing what! These are accusations. How about a follow up article explaining that nothing incriminating was found!

    June 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Far more likely they will report that it was true, that the church covered it up, and the sitting Pope was at the head of the conspiracy.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  14. G from Illinois

    IMHO –

    Humans and Society have existed for a long time – much before Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Imperialism, Socialism and Democracy. We expect Humans and Society to exist for a long time to come. We need a system so we don't kill ourselves. If we try to truly understand the meaning of religion and law it comes down to "Live and Let Live".

    I wake up everyday with a confidence – There are more good people in this world than bad. Bad people should and will be brought to justice. Hence life can continue and that it becomes a lesson for other bad people to stop their acts.

    So what does the article say?

    June 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      it says they are looking for priests just like you

      June 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  15. BingoBanzai

    The Vatican is "shocked".Yeah right,pull the other one.They are 'shocked' at being caught out more like it.Another decadent senior clergyman.
    I am continually 'shocked' by the Vatican.
    Send in the cops,arrest the Cardinals involved in cover-ups and turn Vatican city into a homeless shelter.I am sure that's what Jesus would have wanted...

    June 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  16. EJavaM07

    When will they ever get the point? No government is taking action against them, while day after day the continue to offer up their mea culpa's that, like BP's, long ago ceased to have any real sincerity or authenticity.

    Have the International Court serve a search warrant on the Vatican: as there has already been evidence of a cover-up by officials there, making its actual definition that of a criminal enterprise, grounds now exist for the liklihood of more evidence existing on the grounds of the Vatican itself, and a thorough examination of those grounds now needs to be made to assess that liklihood.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • trooperchix

      I'll second that!!

      June 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  17. Selfish Gene

    What kind of shirt are you wearing? Poly-cotton blend?
    You are going to hell.
    Lev. 19:19

    June 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  18. Rudi


    June 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  19. nachooooo libre

    what cracks me up is that michael jackson may have molested 2-5 kids and the american public wanted him on a cross...... there are 10,000 priests convicted and other STILL doing it or hiding the facts that its still going on

    June 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  20. Wasted1

    Sorry. I guess they forgot to call. But it seems unlikely that much evidence still exists in Belguim or anywhere else.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:57 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.