Priest accused of child sex abuse

BBC News/September 2, 2004

The Roman Catholic Church in Austria says it is investigating a prominent priest following accusations that he sexually abused children.

A papal emissary in Austria said the inquiry was launched after at least 10 young people alleged they were victims.

The priest accused, August Paterno, denies the charges.

The inquiry comes three weeks after a Catholic seminary near Vienna was closed following a separate scandal involving child pornography.

A Polish student priest was given a six-month suspended jail sentence for downloading hundreds of images from the internet.

'Decadent developments'

Father Paterno is well-known in Austria and has appeared in a series of television programmes on religion.

He has not been suspended, Bishop Klaus Kueng told reporters.

The bishop also investigated the earlier sex scandal.

"There are decadent developments in society which have found their way into the Church," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

Austria's state attorney has launched a separate investigation of the abuse accusations, according to the Austria Press Agency.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.