Repeat offenders in the confessional

Regensburg diocese faces continued criticism over its actions in connection with abuse allegations against Riekofen priest. A pastor with a relevant criminal record had been reassigned to youth work and had apparently relapsed. The diocese rejects the criticism. The 2004 personnel decision was based on a psychological report that ruled out a "pedophilic fixation," the ordinariate said. Gerhard Schichel of the Bayrischer Rundfunk explains the backgrounds.

The diocese pointed out that the priest had been assigned to pastoral care at an old people's home in Sunching during his probationary period. At that time, the diocese had not commissioned any temporary work in the parish and altar boy work in the parish of Riekofen.The diocese shares "with dismay the concern of the parents in the parishes of Riekofen and Schonach for their children and the sympathy with the possible victims among them." and expressed his deepest regrets to. In addition, the promise was made that the victims would be offered human, pastoral and therapeutic help.The 39-year-old priest is in pre-trial detention for allegedly sexually abusing an altar boy several times between 2003 and 2006. Already in 1999, the clergyman had indecently touched two nine- and twelve-year-old brothers and had been sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment on probation for it. In 2003, he was appointed as pastor in the parish of Riekofen; the parish was not informed about the man's past.Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller himself now wants to take part in the 23. September to come to the installation of the new pastor of Riekofen and Schonach and meet in advance the two parish council spokesmen for a personal interview. In addition, a meeting between the bishop and the two mayors representing the political communities is to take place in the ordinariate.

Guidelines of the Bishops' Conference disregarded? The German bishops had already agreed in 2002 on guidelines on "how to deal with sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic church". The goal at the time: better protection for victims. The plan was to set up central contact points at the diocesan level, to provide help for victims and perpetrators, and to take preventive measures. In addition, the guidelines regulate an initial examination and assessment of abuse cases, an ecclesiastical preliminary investigation, informing the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and cooperation with state law enforcement agencies.Critics of the Regensburg bishop now accuse him of violating the guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference. In particular point 12. The bishop said that the order had not been complied with, which reads: "Clergymen who are guilty of sexually abusing minors will, after serving their sentence, no longer be employed in areas that bring them into contact with children and young people."In addition, the bishop had violated point 15: "In the event of a transfer or transfer of residence of clergy who are guilty of sexual abuse of minors, the new employer or ecclesiastical superior in whose area he will reside in the future will be informed of the particular problem. Point 13 ("Adequate information to the public will be ensured") was also not followed, according to the allegations.

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Christina Cherry
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