Searches of Belgian church property continue

The Associated Press

By DON MELVIN, Associated Press

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Belgian authorities searched the administrative offices of the bishops of Bruges and Ghent on Tuesday, a day after raiding similar offices in three other cities as they investigated whether church officials protected child abusers instead of their victims.

Peter Rossel, a spokesman for Jozef de Kessel, the Bishop of Bruges, 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of Brussels, confirmed that a search had taken place there. He said the church was cooperating fully with the investigation.

Koen Vlaeminck, a spokesman for the church in Ghent, told The Associated Press that authorities had arrived at church offices with a request for files relating to 13 specific individuals. He said the church had cooperated, and had been allowed to retain copies of the files.

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