Pope condemns Belgian sex raids

June 28th, 2010 - 9:20 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Vatican City, Jun 28 (THAINDIAN NEWS) The head of the Roman Catholic Church - Pope Benedict XVI has blasted the Belgian police for the “deplorable raids” conducted on catholic priests on Sunday. The police had arrested and detained bishops, seized church property and documents during investigation into allegations of sex abuse against the priests.

The Pope released a message of solidarity to the affected priests and head of the bishops’ conference. He said that the Catholic Church also had the right to investigate those abuse allegations, alongside civil law enforcement investigations because he believed in justice.

The Pope himself has never commented about the raids and this was his first public comment on the issue. Monsignor Andre Joseph Leonard, who is the No. 2 Vatican official has compared the raids to the communist era, and said that these were even worse than that.

Belgium’s justice minister defended the searches on Sunday, arguing that the bishops’ rights were fully respected and there was a legal search warrant. The home and former office of former Archbishop Godfried Danneels was also raided. It’s however unknown if he’s been accused of abuse himself, or he had records of another abuse suspect with him.

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