Consistent measures

The Catholic Church has legally closed the case of sexual abuse at the former boarding school in Lebenhan, Lower Franconia. The perpetrator was accused by Pope Benedict XVI. Dismissed from the clergy. This was announced by the Provincialate of the Missionaries of the Holy Family in Mainz on Wednesday. The religious (71) had sexually abused several underage boarders between 1972 and 1976. The secular criminal proceedings were discontinued due to the statute of limitations.

The former priest had himself asked to be reassigned to the lay state. Under strict conditions, however, he may remain a member of the order. He remains banned from contact with children and young people. He may leave the monastery only after consultation with the leadership of the order; he may no longer receive visitors in his room. In the event of a violation of these guidelines, the 71-year-old would also be dismissed from the order, the provincial leadership continued. This agreement, he said, is regularly reviewed by someone outside the order. At the end of August 2008, a former pupil of the boarding school had turned to the diocese of Wurzburg with the allegations of abuse. After that, the Order initiated a preliminary investigation in accordance with the guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference. According to the report, there were at least 16 victims at the now-closed boarding school. He said the students had been sexually or otherwise abused to varying degrees of severity. This is what the perpetrator had confessed to. The victims had been informed about the result of the investigation. The order stressed that it continues to support the victims' families in coming to terms with the deeds.

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Christina Cherry
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