Pope: Belgian sex abuse raids deplorable
The pope on Sunday called the raids carried out by Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse “deplorable” and asserted the right of the Catholic Church to investigate abuse alongside civil law enforcement authorities.
Pope Benedict XVI issued a message Sunday to the head of the Belgian bishops’ conference, Monsignor Andre-Joseph Leonard, expressing his solidarity with all Belgian bishops “in this sad moment.”
The June 24 raids targeted the home and office of a retired archbishop and also the graves of two prelates. The Vatican has slowly ratcheted up its criticism of the searches, with the Vatican No. 2 on Saturday complaining they were unprecedented even under communism.
For the most part I’m a big fan of Pope Benedict - his support (as Cardinal Ratzinger) of the orthodox Anglican movement, and the steps he took to clean house at American RC seminaries as a response to the priest-abuse scandal were especially welcome.
However, recently there has been a string of comments and reactions from the Vatican that indicate its leadership - and not confined to the pope, by any means - seems not to understand that while the God for whose kingdom they labor exists outside the grasp of earthly authorities, the evil perpetrated by their clerics does not. In Europe, in America, and wherever its priests have abused children, a lot less assertion of the notion of “parallel authority” and a lot more cooperation with civil authorities would almost certainly bring about better resolutions to these crises.
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