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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Papal row cleric is suspended over trip for children

Nick Squires in Rome

A German priest who was accused of molesting children when the Pope was his archbishop was suspended yesterday -- three decades after the alleged incident.

The diocese of Munich and Freising said Father Peter Hullermann (62) had been relieved of his duties after it emerged he had recently been on a camping trip with children. A statement said he had been "banned from working with children and young people (but) broke this".

In 1980, Fr Hullermann was moved from Essen after being accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy. Pope Benedict XVI was archbishop of Munich at the time and allowed the priest stay in a rectory for "therapy".

Two years later, Fr Hullermann was given pastoral duties in Bavaria but in 1986 received an 18-month suspended jail sentence after being convicted of molesting other children. Despite this, he was allowed to move parishes to continue working. For the past 18 months he had been working in Bad Tolz in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.

"The Holy Father needs to say something about this," Dirk Taenzler, the head of the Federation of German Catholic Youth, told the 'Berliner Zeitung' newspaper. Last month, the Pope described paedophilia as a "heinous crime". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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