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Saturday, June 26, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2010 (VIS).- The Secretariat of State released yesterday  the following communique after a police search at the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, on 24 June.

  "The bishops of Belgium were gathered at the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels at about 10.30 this morning for the monthly meeting of the Episcopal Conference. At about 10:30, police and court officials entered and referred that there would be a search of the archdiocese, following complaints of sexual abuse within the territory of the archdiocese. No explanation was given, but all documents and mobile phones were confiscated and it was referred that nobody could leave the building. This situation lasted until approximately 19:30.

Everyone was interrogated, members of the Episcopal Conference and staff. It was not a pleasant experience, but everything was done correctly. The bishops have always affirmed their trust in justice and its work. This search was greeted with the same confidence and therefore, for the moment, the (bishops) shall refrain from making further comments.

Instead, they, along with Professor Peter Adriaensses, chairman of the committee for handling sexual abuse as part of a pastoral outreach, regret the fact that during another search, all files of this committee were seized. This goes against the privacy rights of which the victims who have chosen to turn to this committee should benefit. This action gravely affects the much needed and excellent work of this committee".

Eric de Beukelaer
Spokesman for the Episcopal Conference

 "In publishing this statement, the Secretariat  of State reiterates its firm condemnation of all sinful and criminal acts of abuse of minors by members of the Church, and the need to repair and face such acts in accordance with the requirements of justice and the teachings of the Gospel. It is in the light of these needs that the same Secretary of State also expresses great surprise at how some searches were conducted yesterday by the Belgian judicial authorities and its indignation at the fact that the tombs of Cardinals Jozef-Ernest Van Roey and Léon-Joseph Suenens, deceased archbishops of Malines-Brussels, were violated. Added to the dismay over those actions, is regret for some breaches of confidentiality, owed to those very victims for whom the searches were conducted.

These feelings were expressed personally by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, to  Charles Ghislain, Ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See.".
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  1. Would police have acted in the same way if the allegations had been made against members of the Muslim community in Belgium? Would the police have had the Islamic religious leaders for more than eight hours just like that? The rule of law is a great principle, let's hope that it will be applied to all equally.

  2. I would hope that the police of Belguim would seek to find legal evidence of any group that has been creditaly accused of covering up child abuse. If they find good evidence in their posession, I hope they follow up on it regardless of the religion or chucch status of suspected perpetrators.


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