Austria: Clergy sex abusers fired

2010-03-11 22:16

Vienna - Three ministers from a monastery in northern Austria have been dismissed after they were accused of sexually and physically abusing pupils in the 1980s, the head abbot revealed on Thursday.

This follows the resignation or suspension of several other priests since allegations of past sexual abuse in Austrian religious institutions arose on Tuesday.

Abbot Ambros Ebhart of Kremsmuenster monastery in Upper Austria told the press on Thursday that three ministers had been dismissed after five people came forward with accusations of sexual and physical abuse as children.

One of the padres had admitted to the abuse, Ebhart added.

Revelations of sexual abuse by clergy members in Austria first emerged on Tuesday, prompting a flood of further accusations.

A 53-year-old Austrian told national radio on Tuesday that he was abused by three clergy as a child, leading to a first resignation by one of the clerics, who had since risen to become an abbot in Salzburg.

On Wednesday, a 74-year-old priest was then suspended for abusing pupils at a Catholic boarding school in Vorarlberg between 1970 and 1982, the local diocese announced.

Abused 20 children

The current director said the school had hushed up the affair at the time and the priest had been reassigned to a neighbouring province and made to undergo therapy.

But he remained a priest.

Meanwhile, another cleric who had reportedly abused some 20 children in southern Styria in the late 1970s and early 1980s, handed in his resignation on Wednesday, Bishop Paul Iby said.

The unidentified priest, who admitted the abuse to the weekly magazine Falter, insisting he had been "clean" for 25 years, had also been sent to therapy but had been allowed to continue teaching in different schools, the magazine said.

On Thursday, dioceses across the country said they had seen a jump in the number of reported abuse cases since the scandal broke, although not all involved sexual abuse and the claims had yet to be substantiated.

Dismay and shame

They also expressed fear that the new revelations would lead large numbers of Catholics to leave the Church, in a country with an already dwindling number of faithful.

Meanwhile, Austrian religious orders apologised to the victims on Thursday and expressed shock at the number of abuse cases that had come to the surface in the last few days.

"That fills us with dismay and shame," several orders said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Vienna's archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn called for an unflinching examination of the possible roots behind the scandal.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  austria  |  child abuse

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!


I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]


Houses R 2 690 000


Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.