Archbishopric General Vicariate Cologne © Alexander Foxius (DR)
Cologne Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki has suspended a parochial vicar from the Euskirchen district deanery with immediate effect. He is accused of sexual abuse. The incidents are said to have occurred in the 1990s.
It goesabout alleged incidents from the 1990s, which had been reported to the criminal police in 2010 by the persons concerned. However, the prosecutorial investigations were later suspended under § 170 para. 2 Code of Criminal Procedure discontinued. The accused has denied the allegations against him. Presumption of innocence applies.
In the course of the internal church processing of the so-called possible old cases parallel to the independent investigation, which is currently taking place on the instructions of the Archbishop of Cologne, this case has also first been investigated again internally. A commissioned external expert report has since confirmed that the allegations should have been reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as early as 2010. Based on these new audit results, Archbishop Cardinal Woelki has ordered that the case be reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. According to canon law (Can. 1722 CIC) or. the guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference (no. 36) the leave of absence follows from this. The independent investigation of all personnel files, which is currently taking place on behalf of the Archdiocese of Cologne, will also examine why in 2010 the report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was initially omitted.