News from Europe

Thieves assaulted and threatened the Belgian bishop in his home


The Bishop of Liège in Belgium, Jean-Pierre Delville, was assaulted and threatened by a group of unknown thieves who broke into his house on the night of the 14th August.

The Diocese of Liège confirmed in a statement that at dawn on the 15th August the thieves entered the house of Fr Delville through a window on the first floor.

The criminals were professionals and “threatened the bishop and a relative who was at home with him,” promising to kill both of them.

The Diocese said that the thieves “ threatened them and demanded money. They thought the money collected for the church was in the house of the Bishop.”

“The robbers explained that they needed money to cure the five-year-old daughter of one of them who had a serious illness. They spoke German and another unrecognised foreign language but did not speak French well,” according to the statement.

“They then asked for gold: the Bishop could only give the three chalices kept in the oratory and the chapel of the bishopric, then they asked for valuable paintings and demanded Picasso,” the statement said.

Before leaving,  they imprisoned the bishop and his relative in the bathroom where they were found by the police next day unharmed.

Fr Delville told ‘Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française’(RTBF) that he forgave his attackers and understood they were in a difficult situation.

He said that the thieves told him they had been watching his house for seven months and believed that he kept a lot of money at home. The bishop highlighted that the money collected by the diocese is not kept in the house of the priests.

Source: Acidigital

Photo: Facebook Diocèse de Liège – Bistum Lüttich

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