June 27th, 2010
05:01 PM ET

Pope deplores abuse raid on Belgium church HQ

(CNN) - A raid at the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Belgium by police investigating child abuse was "deplorable," Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday.

The pope expressed his "closeness and solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, the searches were carried out" in a letter to the head of the Belgian Bishops Conference, Andre Joseph Leonard.

Police were searching for documents related to allegations of child abuse, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor said Thursday.

The Vatican said Friday it was shocked by the raids, alleging that two cardinals' tombs were violated in the raids in the town of Mechelen.

"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 said in its statement Friday.

See the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. chris

    all you catholic haters are showing your ignorance... the Catholic church is the only TRUE church....

    July 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • Richard McDonough

      Does everone know about this one true church thing? Maybe we can do flyers and stuff mail boxes. I am sure the world would be grateful for this.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  2. joe

    Is that how the spell or pronounce "fridge" in the South?

    Is that how "they" spell "they" in Stupidville.

    June 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  3. Joe

    I want that dudes pope helmet. The really tall one with points on the front and back. It rocks when he sports that helmet along with his big robe and staff. YAYUH!!!

    June 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • Reality


      For educational purposes, the "helmet" is called a mitre, a Greek term probably originating from the frigium, a cap worn in the Greco-Roman world.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Joe

      Do they store it in a.......MITRE BOX.


      June 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Joe

      "a Greek term probably originating from the frigium"

      I keep my beer in my frigium

      June 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Reality


      Is that how the spell or pronounce "fridge" in the South?

      June 28, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • ptpan

      Yes, he is pretty in that hat and robe isn't he ? That is the main selling point of RCC, pretty dresses, soothing music, and they could draw and deceit quite a few weak minded sheep afraid to stand on their own.

      July 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  4. Reality

    In a statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in se- abuse cases," adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations.

    June 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  5. Eric G

    God will not help the catholic church because he does not exist. I think the leaders of the church know this and they also know that the product they are selling is not needed anymore. I think they realize that they are loosing their franchise. I hope that soon, religion is put out to pasture with other irrelevant industries like beeper and vcr manufacturers.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  6. mollyd

    God help the Catholic Church. Those from the Pope down to the local parish priests are all their own worst enemy. Who can blame any one of us who was raised Catholic from turning our backs, now and forever. It is all so disgusting. Religion is a sham, and the Catholic Church have proven this.

    June 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • illlisten

      a few bad apples might spoil a bunch, but a bunch of bad apples don't spoil the tree. Jesus had enough negative things to say about the religious leadership that they killed Him, these pedos aren't the first blind guides and they won't be the last. follow Christ, expose the wolves in sheep's clothing. thank God for justice that comes from the secular authorities when the church becomes enamored with its own influence.

      June 27, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  7. robert

    it is a relief. that somewhere, someone is getting justice. The children raped in the us, will not receive justice from Cardinal Law, Cardinal Mahoney, or Bishop O'Connell. And the children in Germany will not receive justice from Ratzinger or his brother. And the children in Ireland will not receive justice from the many bishops and priests that did them wrong. But in Belgium there is hope.

    June 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  8. Smith in Oregon

    Its about time the governments got fed up with pedophile Vatican priests becoming predators on their children at will and fully protected by the Pope and the Vatican. Criminal conspiracy charges should be brought against the Vatican in its endless patterns of obstruction and protecting their pedophile Vatican priests from justice.

    The Pope should be forced into a utterly disgraced retirement.
    The Vatican and the Vatican Bank should be sued back to the dark ages.
    Minority's across Europe including Jews, Romanians and Gypsy's should demand the Vatican immediately return the Billions in stolen Nazi Gold the Vatican has stored in its Vatican Bank some 70 years ago!

    June 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • Reality

      "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with sexual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party.
      At one time the rabbi was so renowned he’d hoped to be named chief rabbi. Alas, that hope is all but dashed as he was charged several years ago with abusing boys at his yeshiva:

      Takana, a rabbinic forum established in 2003 to clamp down on sexual misconduct by Orthodox educators, went public February 15 with allegations that Mordechai “Moti” Elon had taken advantage of his influence over male students and performed “acts at odds with sacred and moral values.”

      The panel later said that two people, whose complaints alleged acts from about 25 years ago, had been under 18 at the time. More recent alleged acts involved students of Elon who were 18 or older. Since its initial disclosure, the panel reports having received one more complaint of an alleged underage encounter…

      What is unusual about this case is that a splinter group of the Orthodox community is taking the position that the entire prosecution is an attempt to destroy rabbinic authority and the Orthodox movement. It calls for refusal to cooperate with state authorities (or to deal with the charge through a beyt din)."Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

      June 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Reality

      Smith in Oregan failed to note that there have been a number of rabbis arrested in Israel for the same crimes and that some Israeli orthodox Jews complained saying it undermined rabbinic authority. And the Israeli banks do not have a very good track record when it comes to compensating holocaust victims.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:03 am |
    • nachooooo libre

      re reality..... i love how the catholic apologists are also jew haters...... why dont you focus on fixing you own bunch of sick peds and the people that protect them,,,,, even you

      June 28, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  9. 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 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      8000 convicted priests... 3 billion paid out in out of court settlements.... yes there are peds in all walks of life... but the public now knows where a good concentration of them are... and the organization that harbors them....

      June 28, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  10. Sally

    The pope claims the police violated to victims right to privacy ? !!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  11. illlisten

    this guy has no clue- he should be apologizing with tears, not blaming people who actually DO carry out justice. and too bad senator grassley had to investigate protestant televangelists because of their luxurious lifestyles from widow's offerings. the church is absolutely blowing it. this is what happens when servants become too powerful. when the salt loses it's saltiness, it is useful for nothing but to be trampled on the road. it breaks my heart at all the people who are turned off to Jesus because of the thieves who drop His name to get power for themselves.

    June 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  12. Mike

    They should be doing this more often! They might catch one of these perverted priests! I do not understand why everyone seems to be defending the abusers and not the abused. The priests are the evil ones here not the children.

    June 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  13. thinquer

    Jesus said, "The truth will set you free". Many honest hearted Catholics will see the fruit of this unscriptural doctrine of celibacy (See 1 Timothy 4:1-3) and turning away Bible direction that results in pedophilia (Jeremiah 5:26-3). Some will search for the spiritual light. The rest want the keep the Catholic church's secrets secret. But nothing is a secret. See Hebrews 4:13. So what is a person to do? Acts 17:24-27, John 14:28, Psalm 83:18 (Old King James version)

    June 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • the bible

      the bible says: "Simon, thou art Peter and on this rock I build my Church and the gates of the Netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom: Whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven."

      Catholic haters can thump their bibles all they want, but every Catholic knows that nothing offends God more than the infiltration of his holy priesthood by evil men. So, any priest that even considers abusing a child: God will have his wrath. But the same goes for the people who are taking this opportunity to denounce God's earthly authority in the Catholic Church.

      July 1, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  14. Richard McDonough

    This extremely spoiled unconvicted co-conspirator should take the guccis off and walk on hot coals for a month. He is disgusting.

    June 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  15. thinquer

    The Catholic church is only as sick as the secrets it keeps.

    June 27, 2010 at 5:25 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.