Catholic abbot returns to office despite abuse scandal
A German Benedictine Abbot who resigned in February amid the Catholic child abuse scandal for failing to properly report abuse accusations is already set to return to his former post, media reported Tuesday.
Barnabas Bögle, 53, has been elected by the 45 voting monks of the Ettal Abbey in Bavaria, which was rocked by allegations of abuse, to return, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. The decision must still be approved by the Vatican.
In recent weeks, Church authorities in Rome decreed there was no reason not to hold a re-election for Bögle, as well as for the head of the Ettal school and priory, Maurus Kraß, who also resigned in February.
A Vatican committee had come to the conclusion that the former leaders of the abbey had done nothing wrong in their statements regarding the abuse scandal, the paper reported.
The abbey is seeking approval from the Bavarian Education Ministry to have Kraß reinstated as head of the school.
The two men resigned under pressure from the Archbishop of Munich and Freising after it emerged that there had been sexual, physical and psychological abuse happening at the abbey’s boarding school for decades.
At the time, both admitted that regulations on reporting accusations of abuse had not been followed. At least 20 former and current students at Ettal made accusations of abuse.