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. jayman419

    Did the Vatican really say "violate"?

    I guess the cops should be more careful about what they touch in the future?

    June 27, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  2. Reality

    Pedophilia is found in all walks of life. Fifty percent of convicted of pedophilia are married men. For added information about pedophilia Google or Bing the Boy Scouts of America, Judaism, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Jehovah Witnesses and the general population. Many of the groups mentioned have had their offices raided and they all complained. The RCC being a human organization is no different in that regard. Shame on all of them!!!

    June 26, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  3. bill

    It is unfortunate that other parts of the world are not reporting abuses by priest. Africa and south America will not report abuse because it is shameful in their society. The Pope and his church is a disgrace. All their prayers will not wipe out this brutality that has been inflicted on young children for hundreds of years. If you are a catholic, keep your child next to you at all times.

    June 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  4. PaulJoseph

    If this raid was a success or not the idea is to keep the Pope in the spotlight

    June 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  5. stevie68a

    Of course they're shocked. They think they're above the law. I'm against organized religion, so I'm happy this happened.
    To quote Nietzsche, "There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving it away to imaginary beings".

    June 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • ybs

      or... by imaginary beings!

      June 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  6. God

    Bumper sticker:
    "Support your neighborhood pedophile. Attend a catholic church."

    June 26, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  7. Joseph

    The Vatican state should be abolished. It is a nation of one person who is a dictator. That is not reasonable. The Catholic Church should act like a religious group and not put statehood above the deity.. The people of the creator will survive the Vatican state.

    June 26, 2010 at 12:38 am |
    • Petel2


      June 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  8. Thomas Aquinas lives

    The world is full of heretics. Maybe it is time to bring back the Holy Inquisition?

    June 25, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  9. Kevin

    BooHoo. The Shakers-down got shaken down.

    Do the charlatans over there have something else they don't want everyone to know?

    June 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  10. nachooooo libre

    you need to change churches... its apparent that yours would rather help peds than kids

    June 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  11. David

    The reason the police are finally starting to act on this is because the Vatican wouldnt. Does the Pope really believe that the Catholic Church is exempt from the rule of law? That being its own 'mini state' gives it the right to harbor and protect criminals who molest children from the wider community? It smacks of 'we can do what we want to your kids and you cant touch us because we have the authority granted to us by God to do as we wish'. I dont think so.

    June 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Ken

      Did you read the article? The Vatican was outraged over the way the police search was conducted, not over the search itself. It was not mentioned in this article, (typical CNN) but the police actually drilled holes in tombs to insert cameras inside. And found nothing too by the way. Quit letting your hate and prejuice get in your way.

      June 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Petel2

      Yes, drill holes and whatever is required. The pope, cardinals and bishops would hold children in front of them for protection. Never know what this deceitful group is capable of. Even the mob would never stoop to their level.
      The RCC is the disgrace.

      June 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  12. jim in washington

    The principals of the Vatican, especially including the Pope, operate in a culture that has tolerated child abuse and they really don't see anything wrong with it. Child abuse is a privilege they grant men to bring them in and keep them in a "celebate" priesthood. In this light the concern of secular society that this is wrong represents an intrusion on the Church's operating practices and a major inconvenience. That is why they are shocked.

    June 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  13. qwertyuiop

    This is a start, but when will they tackling this at the source? I want to see a full blown UN raid on the Vatican and all the men in dresses being led into a paddy wagon.

    June 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  14. Erik

    Sorry my post was in response to "Jesus Saves, Humans don't"

    June 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  15. SDFrankie

    Dude, my invisible friend Jesus (with whom I have as deep a relationship as one can have with someone you can't see or hear) is very, very real. He is God. Well, the son of god. But god too. So he's sort of like his own son, I guess. It's complicated. Anyway, before he became his own son he condemned everyone who ever was or ever would be to eternal suffering due to a regrettable fruit-eating infraction that simply could not be overlooked. This left him with quite a dilemma. He loved everyone more than you or I ever loved anything or anyone, but he would nevertheless have to torture each and every one of us for all eternity because, even if you're God, rules is rules. So he became his own son and let himself be killed because (I'm not sure how this part works) that clears the books on the fruit-eating thing. So he died. But he's not dead. He was totally dead, but only for like three days. I mean, I know it sounds like a coma, but really he was dead. Temporarily. But completely. I guess. Anyway, that cleared the books and now nobody has to be tortured. Unless you don't believe this story, in which case it's like the whole dying for you thing never happened.

    June 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Oh. I forgot. You actually can hear Jesus if you listen to your heart. That's where he is. Listen. Shhhh! Shut up! I'm trying to listen to Jesus!
      There he is. Hear him?
      Lub-dub. Lub-dub.
      That's Jesus. That's all he ever says. Like a broken record.

      June 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  16. Jack

    Perhaps the Beligium police should swing through Brooklyn and arrest those child absuering religious. Certainly DA Hynes and Sen Schumer are not going to do anything to protect those kids.

    June 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Petel2

      Won't happen. -new-york senators protect the RCC over destroyed citizens lives. On senator stated "No one will hurt my religion" What a delusional freak.

      June 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  17. Erik

    Believe in reason and science. Not stories written 2000 years ago with no basis in anything factual. Hopefully in my lifetime we will have a President who declares proudly that he does not believe in any God, any afterlife, and that he supports all scientific advances that help our understanding of the world.

    June 25, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  18. Stand up

    After reading this article, I created a group called "anti-church!" on facebook... lets promote some awareness on this corrupted organization that slows down humanity.

    June 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  19. Thorrsman

    What eveidence did they expect to find in the tombs?

    June 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  20. truthdefender

    Catholic Inc. is a pretty decently run company, but it needs better PR and marketing people. It's CEO needs to clean house in the PR department, and hire some people from Tylenol(but stay away from PR people from BP)

    June 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      what about the problem with the record of over 8,000 priests being convicted and the church payin out over 2.9 billion in out of court settlements?

      June 25, 2010 at 5:59 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.