ISSN 2330-717X

Raid in Belgium is Flashback to Gestapo Era


Over the weekend, a story broke in Belgium regarding the raid of Catholic Church offices by Belgian police who were searching for evidence that may have been hidden in relation to the priestly sexual abuse of minors.

It looks as though the Belgian police took a page from the Gestapo playbook and executed it to the tee. The police detained the present bishops for over nine hours while they snooped high and low—even going so far as to drill into the tombs of two deceased cardinals—trying to get any thing they could to indict the Belgian Church.

Recently the Belgian bishops created a committee to investigate claims of priestly sexual abuse, but this mattered not a whit to the Belgian government. They barged into the offices anyway. While police do have the right to conduct a search, so long as it is warranted, this seizure smacks of an agenda.
Of course the women of “The View” had to chime in on this story, but as usual their commentary left much to be desired. The regular Catholic-basher Joy Behar chirped, “If you’re [the Church] not going to be forthcoming with the info, then the cops are going to come in and get it.” Whoopi Goldberg’s feeble attempt to defend the Vatican—saying that it was making strides regarding the abuse of minors—was nullified by her statement that the Church “can’t be surprised that they’re [the cops] going to come in” if they are stonewalled. These ladies obviously don’t mind the Belgian police goose-stepping through Church files, but they would be the first to cry foul if their own privacy was violated.

Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI said it best when he addressed the incident on Sunday. In addition to saying that he hoped justice would run its course by guaranteeing “the fundamental rights of people and institutions,” he blasted the raid by calling it “surprising and deplorable.”

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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