“Nothing buried in the basement”

The public prosecutor's office in Essen has filed charges against a 66-year-old Catholic priest for sexual abuse of a child. As the authorities announced on Thursday, the pastor of St. St. Francis parishioners from Bottrop committed at least 15 acts in 1994 and 1995 against a boy born in 1982. The accused denies the crime. Since the judicial authorities believe there is a risk of repetition, the man has been in pre-trial detention since late May. Volker van Haren met the Essen bishop Dr. Genn on the interview on the topic.

The bishop of Essen Dr. Felix Genn announces in interview that he "doesn't want to bury anything in the basement". The causes must be clarified and it is a pastoral duty to help both the victim and the possible perpetrator.The leave of absence of the priest should "not be understood as a prejudgement", Genn had already informed the Bottrop community yesterday in a letter, which had been read there yesterday in a mass. Act many years ago? According to the information, the family of the boy from the Bergisches Land had maintained a friendly relationship with the priest of the Essen diocese since 1991. During the summer vacations, the boy is said to have spent a few days in the rectory. In the process, the boy had also spent the night in the clergyman's apartment several times.According to the public prosecutor's office, the crime was not reported by the family until October 2007. During a search of the pastor's apartment, numerous films and files with pornographic content were seized, he said.According to the Essen diocese, the accused was immediately suspended by Ruhr Bishop Felix Genn. "As soon as we become aware of such a suspicion, the bishop will immediately suspend the priest or employee. This is what happened in this case immediately after it became known." emphasizes Ulrich Lota, spokesman for the diocese of Essen in the this site interview. Proceedings under canon law would also be initiated against the priest. There is, as in all German dioceses, a procedural order, according to which is now proceeding.

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