German priest fired for decades old sex abuse

The Associated Press/July 13, 2012

Berlin -- The Catholic Church has fired a German priest for sexually abusing five underage boys more than 30 years ago.

The diocese of Trier in western Germany says Bishop Stephan Ackermann dismissed the unnamed man from the priesthood Tuesday.

It said in a statement Friday that the retired priest had committed the abuse between 1966 and 1980.

The Trier diocese said it only learned of the abuses in 2010, by which time the statute of limitations for prosecuting the crimes had expired.

It says 15 further procedures against priests accused of sexual abuse are still ongoing in the diocese.

The homeland of Pope Benedict XVI was shaken in 2010 by revelations of abuse by clergy going back decades.

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