Police in Santiago, Chile recently searched the office and home of an attorney representing a priest accused of sexual abuse, after a judge issued a search warrant.
Juan Pablo Bulnes, the attorney for Fr. Fernando Karadima, said police seized files containing information on the investigation being carried out by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“I had it. They took all the documents that I had,” he told the Chilean daily La Nacion.
Judge Jessica Gonzalez issued the search warrant after the civil suit against the priest was re-opened. The case was closed several months ago for “lack of evidence.”
Civil authorities decided to re-open the case after the year-long, exhaustive investigation carried out by Vatican officials found Fr. Karadima guilty of sexual abuse. He was ordered to retire to life of prayer and penance.
The Archdiocese of Santiago and the Apostolic Nunciature in Chile were asked to turn over their files on the case, but they refused, arguing that the files were part of an investigation being carried by the Vatican, which is a sovereign state not subject to the Chilean courts.
EWTN News contacted the archdiocese and the nunciature for comment, but both said no statements would be made at this time.