Senior German Priest Resigns, Accused of Fondling Boys

July 30, 2008,senior-german-priest-resigns-accused-of-fondling-boys.html

Bamberg, Germany - A 63-year-old senior priest in Germany's Catholic archdiocese of Bamberg resigned Wednesday after four men said he had fondled them as boys when they were attending a Catholic boarding school. The priest headed the diocesan department for pastoral personnel and was on the cathedral council in the Bavarian archdiocese.

Michael Kleiner, deputy spokesman for Archbishop Ludwig Schick, said it was unclear as yet how grave the allegations were.

The acts "ranged from putting his arm round boys to touching them on the body," he said. The archdiocese would fully investigate the claims, which were first lodged last year. A church spokeswoman said some complainants said he had put his hands on their private parts.

The incidents date from before 1991.

Public prosecutors in Bamberg said a criminal inquiry had begun.


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