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Belgian police raid 3 dioceses, take documents on abuse complaints

Catholic World News - January 16, 2012

Belgian police raided the offices of three Catholic dioceses on January 16, as they continued their aggressive investigation of sex-abuse complaints.

Officials in the dioceses of Brussels, Hasselt, and Antwerp said that they cooperated with police demands for documents. Prosecutors are reportedly near the end of a 2-year investigation into the way bishops responded to complaints of clerical abuse.

In June 2010, police raided the offices of the Belgian bishops’ conference and the home of retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels. That raid drew sharp complaints from the Belgian bishops, who said that investigators had exceeded their authority, and a long legal battle that eventually resulted in the return of the files that police had seized.

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