Archbishop accused of failing to act on abuse appeals to Vatican

The Tablet

December 7, 2020

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg has asked the Congregation for Bishops in Rome to judge whether he is guilty of having hushed up abuse.

Hesse has been accused of covering up abuse and violating canon law by failing to report abuse to the Vatican authorities during his time as head of personnel in the Cologne archdiocese from 2006-2011.

Last week the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, accused his two predecessors, cardinals Joseph Höffner and Joachim Meisner, both deceased, of failing to notify the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the abuse committed by a priest referred to as “Fr A”. The priest, now 87 and living in a care home, was imprisoned in 1972 for “repeated fornication with children and dependants”. When he came out of prison in 1973, “Fr A” was again deployed as a priest in the Diocese of Münster where he reoffended.

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