Pope sends bishop to investigate Austrian seminary scandal


 A special investigator is being sent by the Pope to gather information on the pornography scandal at an Austrian seminary. In a short statement, the Vatican announced on Tuesday that the Holy Father is sending Austrian Bishop Klaus Kung of Feldkirch, to investigate the seminary of St Poelten, west of Vienna. Last week the seminary became the subject of international media attention when Austrian news magazine Profi published pictures allegedly of priests and students engaged in sexual acts. The authorities said more than 40,000 photos and videos, including child pornography, had been found on seminary computers. Bishop Kurt Krenn, who is in charge of the St Poelten diocese, caused an uproar when he dismissed the pictures as "childish pranks" - and called the allegations of sexual misconduct "groundless". But both the school director Ulrich Kuechl and his deputy Wolfgang Rothe resigned. The Austrian authorities are now conducting a criminal enquiry. On Monday state prosecutors charged a 27-year-old seminarian with possession and distribution of child pornography. The Austrian Bishops' Conference has promised a full and swift internal investigation. "Anything that has to do with the practice of homosexuality or pornography has no place at a seminary for priests," it said in a statement. In 1998, Austrian Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer resigned amid allegations that he had molested young boys.

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