Pope Condemns Belgian Raid

NEWS, 28 Jun 2010

Al Jazeera – TRANSCEND Media Service

Pope Benedict XVI has criticised the “deplorable methods” of Belgian police who raided a meeting of bishops as part of a paedophilia probe.

In a letter of support to Andre-Joseph Leonbard, the archbishop of Brussels-Malines, Benedict on Sunday expressed anger at the confiscation of phones, computers and other items.

“I want to express … my closeness and solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, searches were carried out,” Benedict wrote.

Belgian officials say the raid on Thursday followed a string of sexual abuse accusations directed at high-level members of the church.

Stefaan De Clerck, the Belgian justice minister, defended the police and accused the Vatican of overreacting.

“The bishops were treated completely normally during the raid on the archdiocese and it is false to say that they received no food or drink,” he said, referring to media reports about their treatment.

Possible legal action

Benedict’s criticism follows condemnation from other church officials. Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said the detention of several bishops during the raid was “serious and unbelievable”.

In a statement, the Vatican said it would consider legal action if the raid turned out to be what it called a “fishing expedition”.

The Belgian church was rocked in April when its longest-serving bishop, 73-year-old Roger Vangheluwe, resigned from his post after admitting sexually abusing a boy for years.

Retired priests have also accused church officials of covering up hundreds of cases of sexual abuse going back more than 15 years.

GO TO ORIGINAL – ALJAZEERA.NET

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Comments are closed.