Brussels, Belgium, Jun 30, 2010 / 03:58 am
Following unannounced police raids in the Archdiocese of Belgium last week, a former head of an internal Church commission on sexual abuse cases has revealed that she contacted local police after an anonymous caller advised her to “watch out” and to secure all the documents she held during her time in office.
On June 24, Belgian authorities in search of information associated with cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels entered the archbishop's offices unannounced. Elements of the search, which included drilling holes into tombs in the crypt of the cathedral, were denounced by the Vatican and Pope Benedict the next day.
Godelieve Halsberghe, president of an internal Church commission on sex abuse cases from 2000 to 2008, told the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwesblad on Monday that “I recently received an unpleasant phone call about these files (dossiers on sexual abuse cases).”
Halsberghe, a former magistrate who headed a panel set up by the Church to oversee sex abuse cases, reportedly resigned in 2008 due to her belief that the bishops involved were being uncooperative.