For a period in the 1990s, a number of individuals and families who had sought political asylum in Norway and had been turned down sought sanctuary in churches - not in the church sanctuary itself, but in social rooms and so on attatched - rather than face expulsion. As long as they stayed in the church buildings, the police did not go in after them. One by one, however, they gave up and allowed themselves to be sent home.
I don’t believe the law prohibited the police from going in, it was more a matter of custom and of not wanting to make what was an embarrassing situation for them and for the government even worse.
As for Catholic churches being “part of the Vatican”… well, to this former Catholic that’s uncomfortably close to the accusations that Catholics can’t be counted on to be loyal to their country because they owe their first allegiance to the Pope :rolleyes: I don’t think your roommate meant any harm, but we do aim to stamp out ignorance here. The Vatican isn’t synonymous with the Roman Catholic Church, although they’re obviously tightly linked, and I’m unaware of any country in which Catholic churches have a special political status.