Bishop Kurt Krenn, who was responsible for the St Poelten seminary which was the scene of an internet sex scandal recently, has resigned. Last July an Austrian news magazine published pictures of sexual activity between students at the college. It also revealed that police had uncovered more than 40,000 lewd images and videos - some of the involving child pornography. When the case came to light, Bishop Krenn, 68, dismissed the affair as a "childish pranks" and called the allegations of sexual misconduct "groundless". But when Pope John Paul ll appointed another Austrian cleric, Bishop Klaus Kueng, to investigate the seminary, he shut it down immediately, saying it had "veered away from its mission". One student has now been given a six month suspended sentence for downloading pornography. Bishop Krenn told Der Standard: "Yes, I'm resigning immediately as bishop of St Poelten." He said he was stepping down voluntarily and not under pressure from the Vatican. "The Pope does not force anybody to resign. He asks at most that someone go," he said. The Austrian We Are Church group, which had pressed for Bishop Krenn to step down or be fired, said it was "relieved" at the bishop's decision. "It is an important and inevitable first step for renewal in the diocese," they said in a statement. "Many people both inside and outside the diocese can draw a deep breath and finally look with hope toward the future."
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