German priest admits 280 counts of child abuse

The Associated Press/January 13, 2012

Berlin -- A Roman Catholic priest in Germany has admitted to 280 counts of sexually abusing three boys over a several-year period.

The 46-year-old priest, who has been suspended, went on trial Thursday at the state court in Braunschweig. The dapd news agency reported that he showed no remorse.

The man who was not identified was arrested last July after one victim told his mother what had happened. He was charged with abusing three boys aged between 9 and 15.

Hildesheim diocese spokesman Michael Lukas says the defendant's actions were "a catastrophe for the victims and for the Catholic church." The trial continues through Feb. 2.

The priest also faces church disciplinary proceedings.

Germany, Pope Benedict XVI's homeland, was shaken in 2010 by revelations of abuse by clergy going back decades.

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