Dc Church Officials ID German Priest Ordered Home

April 21, 2010

The Archdiocese of Washington is identifying a suspended German priest ordered home from the U.S. to face allegations he sexually abused teenage girls in Germany two decades ago.

The archdiocese says Rev. Michael Schapfel was the chaplain of the 75-family German Pastoral Mission of Washington from 2004 until this month. Officials say they have not received allegations involving Schapfel's work in the United States.

The Roman Catholic diocese of Mainz in Germany said Tuesday that it had informed prosecutors of the abuse allegations against a priest, but did not name him.

The Mainz diocese and the German bishops conference say the suspended priest is suspected of "having had sexual relations in the late 80s and early 90s with female youths and young women who had confided to him in his capacity as a pastor."

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