Friday, March 11, 2011

Austrian probe
Austrian church probes priest abuse allegations Share .Email.more
Published: March 11, 2011 9:02 a.m.
Last modified: March 11, 2011 9:07 a.m.
Text size VIENNA - Austria's Catholic church says it is investigating abuse allegations against a priest.

The Salzburg Archdiocese says Peter Hofer has temporarily relinquished his duties over claims by a 47-year-old woman that he repeatedly raped her in the 1980s when she was an altar girl.

It says in a statement Friday that he will be suspended if proven guilty.

The Austria Press Agency reports that Hofer denies the accusations but acknowledged he had a consensual sexual relationship with the woman when she was no longer a minor.

Last year, Austria was hit by a series of abuse claims against clergy and employees of church-affiliated institutions such as schools.

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