By Tal Axelrod
January 30, 2019
A senior Vatican official has resigned after a former nun accused him of making sexual advances during confession, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The Vatican said the Rev. Hermann Geissler has denied allegations made by Doris Wagner and noted that he has the right to file a civil suit.
Geissler said he was resigning “to limit the damage already done” to the Vatican, but noted he wants an investigation to be conducted into the woman’s allegations.
Geissler had previously worked as the chief of staff for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees sexual abuse cases.
Wagner, a former nun in Geissler’s German order, went public with her accusation in November at a conference on women and clergy sexual abuse, referring to Geissler by his position rather than his name. The allegation stems from a 2009 incident.
Several women members of the Catholic Church have come out to denounce sexual abuse and harassment by members of the clergy, according to the AP, following the #MeToo movement.
Pope Francis has convened a meeting set to take place next month with the presidents of all the Catholic bishops’ conferences to discuss sexual abuse within the church.
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