Austrian Catholic Church Removes Alleged Pedophile Priest [Austria]
October 4, 2004

VIENNA, Austria -- A priest accused of committing pedophile acts with children in his care has been removed from his post by the Austrian Roman Catholic Church authorities, a media report said on Monday.

The man, who has not been named, is alleged to have placed his hand on the thighs of youngsters in incidents that occurred several years ago in the western community of Annaberg-Lungotz, according to daily Salzburger Nachrichten.

The priest's superior, abbot Edmund Wagenhofer, announced that he had replaced the man in an address to the local parish congregation at the end of mass on Saturday, the report said.

The priest has since been transferred to another abbey in the district.

This is the latest in a string of pedophile cases within the Catholic church in Austria that have surfaced in recent months.

On Thursday the bishop of Saint Polten Kurt Krenn resigned from his post after he was accused of trying to hush up a pornography scandal in his diocese.

In July the Vatican opened an inquiry into the Saint Polten seminary following the discovery there in November last year of 40,000 pornographic images, some showing acts of pedophilia and bestiality, in computers belonging to the priests.

The seminary has since been shut down.

The scandal sent shock waves through the Catholic hierarchy in Austria and prompted outrage in Rome.


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