The Archbishop of Cologne, Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki, has imposed a ban on celebrations against a retired clergyman of the Archdiocese of Cologne who has been living in the Diocese of Trier since 2010. Priest accused of sexual abuse.
The retired chaplain has been involved in pastoral care in the diocese of Trier for a number of years. He is thus also prohibited from doing so.
Due to a request from the diocese of Trier, the file of the priest had been rescreened in the archdiocese of Cologne. It has come to light that the priest is presumably not complying with a condition imposed on him not to make offers to children and young people.
Accusation of sexual abuse
The priest is accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s, among other things. The accused priest denies the accusations. A ban on celebrations was imposed on the retired clergyman in accordance with current guidelines based on the allegations, and the case will be reported to Rome for review once the prescribed measures have been completed.
In the specific case, it was also noted that there was no information from the Archdiocese of Cologne to the Diocese of Trier about the allegations when the priest moved in 2010. Archbishop Woelki has apologized to the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, for this omission by the archdiocese.
Processing in its own staff unit
After Cardinal Woelki took office in the Archdiocese of Cologne, he had ordered a review of all cases in which there have been allegations of sexual transgressions or sexual abuse. In addition, Cardinal Woelki appointed new members to his advisory staff in 2015 and bundled the handling of such cases in a separate "Intervention" staff unit.