March 15th, 2010
08:20 PM ET

Pope's ex-diocese suspends sex-abuse priest

A priest convicted of sexually abusing children - and whose subsequent move from one location to another the pope approved when he was a German cardinal - has been suspended, his archdiocese announced Monday.

The priest, identified only as H, violated the terms set out for him after his conviction, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising said in a statement. It did not say what the violation was, but at the time of his conviction by a German court, he was ordered to pay a fine and not work with children again.

The priest's superior also resigned, the church said.

The pope - then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - approved the man's move from Essen to Munich in the early 1980s, but the archdiocese said the cardinal was never personally aware of the details of the man's case.

The priest was in therapy for having abused children when he was transferred, the archdiocese said.

Officials said the priest was released from church service in 2008 and was no longer serving actively as a priest. He was a church counselor for tourists.

The move comes as hundreds of alleged victims have come forward in Germany, claiming priests abused them. Some allege the abuse was sexual, while others refer to physical violence such as slapping.

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  1. Johnny

    The Pope when Cardinal moved the guilty to protect the church and said to hell with the children. He shoud be removed and take off the red shoes that the catolic church has used to show they know the blood of the innocent or on their hands.

    Stop worshiping wooden images, that would be a start.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Judi Landig

    In the old days they would have stoned these abominations. A trusted position of this nature especially, should be punished severely. And people still support the Pope? What is wrong here? They should be convicted and imprisioned like anyone else that would commit this crime. How are these little ones ever going to except God after such a breech of trust..? We need to push for the laws to be changed and pray for the abused.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Unknown

    Before everyone bashes the Catholic Church, do your research. Catholic Priests are not the only ones who have done bad things. These things just seem to be soo prevalent in the Catholic Church because it is one of the largest religions in the world. Everyone sins, no matter what religion, sex, nationality, or what have you. I am not condoning what they did, just trying to stick up for my own religion.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lisa

    I'm not understanding why he was transferred in the first place instead of being handed over to the law. A sex offender is a "sex offender" no matter how you look at it. It doesn't matter who you are or your position in society. It makes me sick to think that these men are in our churches! We should be able to trust these priests...we go to them for guidance and this is what they do! These are not men of God, they are wolves in sheeps clothing!! If these priests had not been transferred, it may have saved more children from being abused! Shame on all of you who had a hand in this!! May God forgive you all!!

    March 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chuck

    Suspension is not enough. These perverts should be turned in to the authorities and prosecuted under the law.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MMM

    There isn't a CEO alive who knows what all of his subordinates are doing, and most care even less. They have bigger fish to fry and that's why they have people to handle these situations.

    If these scandals plaguing the Catholic Church have the potential to bring it down than it didn't have a very solid foundation to begin with.

    There isn't a religion in existence that isn't experiencing the same problem but I don't see anyone publicizing their scandals on a regular basis while gleefully clapping their hands and predicting the downfall of the church.

    We Catholics have been in existence forever and will continur to be in existence forever. Get used to it.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    Really, 7,000 convicted priest??? What non-sense. In a world dominated by material secularism and anti-Catholic rhetoric we can expect to hear anything from the peanut gallery.
    Last time I heard; in the US out of the nearly 50,000 Catholic priest about 400 were accused.

    March 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George

    Stop fornicating, committing adultery, etc. Let's all decide to stop spreading infectious disease and corrupting the sustainability of life. We all will reap what we sow. We have only ourselves to ponder.

    March 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Warren wiedmeyer

    The "law" of celibacy is man-made. It is not based on the Bible. It came about in the Middle Ages when the pope at that time was not happy with the loose morals that married priests at that time were displaying – so he said "no more" and made a papal decree that from this point on priests could not marry. the Catholic church needs to stop pretending that they ahve a problem with sexual misconduct by their clergy, some of which, I am sure, is caused by the "no marriage" decree.

    March 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rick

    As far as I'm concerned, the Roman Catholic Church has no standing to lecture anyone about morality so long as those who enabled this exploitation to continue remain in positions of authority anywhere in the church. It is time for the church to sit down, be quiet and focus on cleaning up its own house in full view of the world not behind a wall of secrecy and denial.

    March 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. No excuse

    If there is 100% concrete physical evidence that an adult has has had intercourse with a child they should be shot dead immediately upon conviction in a very public way, end of story.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ted

    Have you all forgotten that most of the child molestations took place under the 20+ year reign of the soon to be beatified Mr. Wotoyla, aka Pope John Paul II? What did previous popes do about child sex abuse? Not much apparently. An of course, Mr. Ratzinger aka Pope Benedict XVI wants to make his role model a saint.

    March 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ann

    Anything to stay in the news. We get it, that there were problems. There are problems with this abuse in all kinds of jobs.Teachers,boy scouts,etc. Get over it. Now it is time to move forward for society

    March 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon Gilpin

    It appears that there are alot of people ok with the situation. If it was happening next door to you, would you just make a bunch of excuses for it to continue? I hope not. I couldn't be associated with a group of people that hide something like this. I don't care what kind of religous excuses they make. If you continue to give your money to the Catholic church, then you apparently are condoning their practices. Period!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Diane

    When I was studying in Rome in the early 1970s I met an Italian boy whose mother was a housekeeper in the Vatican. I remember he was very agitated whilst he was telling me that his mother had witnessed young boys going in and out of he cardinals' quarters and finding evidence of sexual activity. I remember expressing surprise, but in those days paedophilia was not heard about and I brushed it aside but now I am beginning to wonder!!!!

    April 3, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
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