Thursday, June 10, 2010

Danish police seek superior of Catholic convent over alleged abuse

Danish police seek superior of Catholic convent over alleged abuse
Jun 9, 2010, 14:36 GMT

Copenhagen - Danish police said on Wednesday that they are searching for the superior of a Catholic convent for questioning in connection with the death of a nun in 1993.

The elderly nun, who reportedly suffered from severe dementia, died of exposure when she was locked out of the convent without proper clothing on a cold winter day, after allegedly causing too much noise during morning prayers, according to a recent radio documentary by Danish public broadcaster DR.

The Dutch-born superior, Theresa Brenninkmeijer, also reportedly beat other nuns, the radio documentary and other accounts said.

'We would like to question her, but don't know where she is,' a police spokesman told Danish radio.

In addition to the convent in Sostrup, eastern Jutland, Brenninkmeijer is also in charge of convents in Dusseldorf, Germany, and in the coastal city of Callao in Peru.

A former nun, who has written a book on the Sostrup convent, said it is likely the superior is in Peru.

Police spokesman Peter Grove Munk said the superior could be interviewed via telephone or by police in Germany or Peru.

The head of the small Catholic church in Denmark, Bishop Czeslaw Kozon, said he welcomed the police investigation, and denied not having acted when he was approached about the alleged abuse earlier.

Denmark is a predominantly Lutheran country.

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