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Belgian police raid Archdiocese looking for files

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

VATICAN CITY – Officials at the Vatican were shocked by the unprecedented raids of Belgian police at the Archdiocese palace at Mechelen, where at that very moment all the country’s bishops were gathered for their monthly consistory meeting. Simultaneously, the police also raided the office of the archdiocese appointed Adriaensses Commission, which was investigating allegations of suppressed reports of sexual abuse by priests. By cutting off all communication with the outside world, the bishop were in effect under house arrest for about nine hours while the police went about searching for suspect files but found none. At the commission, the police took its computer as well as 475 files, prompting Prof. Adriaenssens to resign his post in protest over the police having compromised his undertakings of confidentiality to complainants. It was left to Belgium’s ambassador to the Vatican to explain his country’s laws and judicial system regarding division of powers and separation of church and state.