Thursday, June 24, 2010

Belgian Catholic offices raided in sex abuse probe

Belgian Catholic offices raided in sex abuse probe
Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Thursday, 24 June 2010 12:45 UK

Officials said they were searching for evidence of possible abuse Belgian authorities have raided the offices of the country's most senior Catholic prelate as they investigate child sex abuse claims.

A spokesman for the Brussels prosecutors' office confirmed that the palace of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels had been sealed off.

Officials were searching for evidence concerning abuse allegations, he said.

Belgium is one of several countries in which a stream of abuse claims have shaken the Roman Catholic Church.

An inquiry into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Belgium has been running for several years.

In April, the then-bishop of the Belgian city of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned after admitting that he had sexually abused a boy earlier in his career.

At the time, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard said the move showed that the Church wanted to "resolutely turn a page on a very painful" topic.

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