.- In the wake of a highly publicized scandal regarding occupied churches by Muslims in Belgium, the country’s Apostolic Nuncio, Msgr. Karl-JosefRauber, released a declaration denying that he fully backed the Belgian bishops in their action infavor of the asylum seekers. These allegations were made in the "De Morgen" newspaper.
“The Nuncio asambassador of the Holy See to the kingdom of Belgium should not intervene in this question, since it’s an internal problem and not one concerning relations between Belgium and the Holy See,” he declared. The Nuncio is therefore inviting the Belgian bishops to deal with this problem internally.
“The Church has always taken position for the most weak. This problem needs a political solution,” he concluded.
The occupation of Catholic churches in Belgium, by asylum seekers--most of them Muslim--has raised concern over the respect of the sanctity of these buildings.
There have been reports of tents, computers, banners praising Allah and even campfireswithin the churches. Likewise, in some churches, altars have been moved and statues of the Virgin Mary have been covered with sheets.
No formal declaration or action has been taken so far by Church authorities regarding alleged desecration. Reportedly, there is a trackrecord of occupations of Belgian Churches by Muslim groups.