Church scandal: Catholic Church reinstated criminals as priests

Church scandal: Catholic Church reinstated criminals as priests

A priest convicted of abuse was nevertheless reinstated by the Catholic Church in North Rhine-Westphalia for decades. The case is now to be investigated.

Years ago, the Catholic Church in North Rhine-Westphalia reinstated a criminal convicted of abuse as a priest – without informing the parishes. In several cases, the man, who died in 2016, allegedly became an abuser again.

According to the Archdiocese of Paderborn, the priest from the Diocese of Aachen was sentenced to prison in 1969 for “indecency with minors”, which he served in 1970 and 1971 in an open prison in Attendorn. Two medical and psychological reports as well as the assessment of the prison director at the time came to the conclusion that there was no need to fear further sexual abuse in a future deployment.

Sexual contact with a young person

The diocese of Aachen then asked the archdiocese of Paderborn to deploy the priest in its area. He then worked in Peckelsheim, Letmathe, Rüthen and Arnsberg. The priests and pastors in the respective parishes were not informed about the clergyman’s previous history. In 1991, the archdiocese received information that the man had sexual relations with a young person. He was then transferred to Arnsberg. Later, further allegations from his time in Peckelsheim and Rüthen came to light.

“The archdiocese expressly regrets the priest’s actions, which are irresponsible not only from today’s perspective,” said the Archdiocese of Paderborn. The legitimate interest of the affected communities in a comprehensive presentation of the case should now be met. The archdiocese asks any other people who may be affected or who can provide relevant information to help clarify the matter further to contact the independent contact persons or the Archdiocese’s intervention office. All reports will be treated with absolute confidentiality.

Source: Stern

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