Pope Lashes Out at Belgium After Raid on Church
by RACHEL DONADIO
ROME — In a sign of sharply rising tensions between the Vatican and Belgium, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticized as “surprising and deplorable” a raid on church property last week by Belgian police investigating sex abuse by clerics.
In an exceedingly rare personal message and rebuke of a sovereign country, the pontiff also stressed the church’s “autonomy” to conduct its own investigations and criticized the “deplorable methods” of Belgian police who last week detained bishops, confiscated files and even drilled into the tombs of at least one cardinal in the Brussels cathedral in a search for documents. More...