First some positive news. It seems the authorities in one country have decided that accusations of raping children deserve a proper investigation. Belgian prosecutors this week raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic Church as part of their investigation into child sex abuse claims, as reported by the BBC in Belgian Catholic offices raided in sex abuse probe:
Brussels prosecutors were looking for material relating to allegations of sex abuse, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office said.
"This is a case that the Brussels prosecutors' office received recently, containing a statement of facts in relation to alleged sexual abuse of minors by a number of people within the Church," said Jean-Marc Meilleur.
"The object of the searches is to verify the declaration and eventually gather evidence about these declarations."
Finally, the prosecution body of one country at least has decided that professing belief in a magic invisible sky fairy doesn’t mean that you can rape children without the possibility of being prosecuted. Better late than never. Let’s hope that other countries now follow suit.
Regular criminals, when investigated, usually profess innocence at this point, as they are entitled to do. The Vatican though, sings a different tune. They are shocked, shocked I tell you, that the authorities dare to treat the church as though they didn’t have a special exemption to the rules that affect everyone else. You just knew this was coming: Vatican 'indignant' over Belgium police raids
The Vatican has expressed shock at raids, including the "violation" of a cathedral crypt, by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse.
Get that? the Vatican is shocked, not that its priests would rape children, but that the authorities would dare to investigate such alleged crimes. Shocked, not that children were violated, but that a bleeding crypt if you please was violated. It gets better:
The Vatican has summoned the Belgian ambassador to the Holy See to voice anger over Thursday's raids.
I hope the Belgian ambassador told them to go to hell.
And just when you thought they couldn’t get any more hyperbolic, one of their men in dresses tells us Belgium raids 'worse than Communist era'
The Vatican has stepped up its criticism of raids by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse, calling the detention of priests "serious and unbelievable".
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, said "there are no precedents, not even under the old communist regimes".
He goes on to claim that the priests were held for nine hours without food or drink, which if true would be wrong. The accused deserve to be treated according to the law, which should include the rights to food and drink, not to mention a lawyer. But there are “no precedents” for this? “Not even under the old communist regimes”? Doubtful. I think what he means is that there are “no precedents” for treating the Catholic Church just like any other body that is accused of breaking the law. Which may well be true. And it’s about time such a precedent was set.