Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Accused priest gets pension

Priest accused of sex abuse gets pension
Monday, 04 April 2011 21:16 JB News .Catholic Church quietly closes sexual abuse case and retires priest with pension; priest’s accusers furious

The priest's accusers accused the church of cowardice for giving the benefit of the doubt to the retired priest (Photo: Colourbox)
The Catholic Church of Denmark is being criticised for secrecy and inaction in its handling of the cases of several priests accused of sexual abuse against young men.

The complaints follow the announcement by the church on Sunday that it had completed its last and most extensive investigation into the case of a priest who was suspended in April 2010 after being accused by five separate people of indecent exposure and sexual abuse.

In a brief statement the church announced that the official investigation into the complaints had been completed and that the priest would retire with pension as a result.

The church declined to reveal what its investigation into the complaints uncovered or why the priest retired.

“Our conclusion is that the case is closed and the suspension is lifted. The priest then asked if he could retire,” church spokesman Rev Niels Engelbrecht told Berlingske newspaper.

The bishop of the Diocese of Copenhagen, Czeslaw Kozon, however wrote in a letter to the people who filed the complaint against the priest that the church had not been able to determine whether the complaints were founded, and therefore chose to give the priest the benefit of the doubt.
Frederik Roed, one of the men who accused the priest of sexual misconduct, was angered by the church’s conclusion.

“I am deeply shocked that the Catholic bishop is choosing to close and conceal the case after five people, independently of one another, complained about the priest.”

He accused the church of cowardice by “letting the priest sneak off into retirement”.

“Doing so lets them avoid having to take up a fight and hold the priest accountable,” Roed said.

See related stories
Catholic Church to investigate priests for sexual assault

Church remained silent about child porn conviction

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