German hospital says housing Norway abuse scandal cleric

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German News

08 April 2010

A former bishop who has admitted to sexually abusing a child in Norway two decades ago is living in free housing at a Church-run hospital in his native Germany, a spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

Georg Mueller “has been the guest of the Franziskus-Hospital Harderberg since mid-December,” hospital spokesman Roland Knillmann said. He has been absent since Wednesday.

He stressed that Mueller, 58, who stepped down as bishop of Trondheim last June, had no contact with children and no official pastoral function, and that the hospital had only found out about his dark past on Wednesday.

“We found out yesterday from the media,” he said.

Norway’s Catholic Church said on Wednesday that German-born Mueller had admitted sexually abusing a minor while a simple priest in Trondheim on Norway’s western coast in the early 1990s.

The Vatican said Wednesday that it had found out about the allegations in January last year and that after an internal investigation had decided that Mueller had to leave.

The Norwegian Catholic Church said it had decided to keep the scandal quiet for more than a year “at the request of the victim.”

The affair, the latest in a string of revelations of sexual abuse by priests to have rocked the Catholic Church across Europe and the United States in recent months, saw the victim receive compensation from the Church.

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