Priest charged with sexual assault

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A Catholic priest employed by the diocese in Oslo has been defrocked and charged with assault after admitting to having had sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl in Bergen. Oslo Bishop Bernt Eidsvig went public with the case on Tuesday, despite objections from police in Bergen.

“We’ve been criticized by the police for reporting this, but it was already known in Bergen,” Eidsvig said. He said he wanted to avoid speculation or accusations that the Catholic Church in Norway was withholding information on the case. The police, however, would have preferred to launch their own investigation before the case became known.

Eidsvig told reporters that the relation between the priest and the teenager went on for around a week this past summer. The girl, who is not Catholic, later reported it to another priest who immediately contacted Eidsvig. He told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he flew to Bergen the next day, where the priest now charged with assault confessed.

It’s the latest in a string of cases involving assault within the Catholic Church worldwide, but Eidsvig said it’s the first he’s aware of in Oslo. Three years ago, a former bishop in Trondheim admitted sexual assault against an alter boy years earlier, though, and the church has an archive of other cases deemed “sensitive.”

Eidsvig said the priest charged now “will never work as a priest again,” but that the church was helping him secure “a good lawyer” and possible medical help.

3 Responses to Priest charged with sexual assault

  1. Sylvia says:

    I am quite certain there is a media error in reporting that the priest in question has been defrocked – suspended without a doubt, but it’s far too early for him to be defrocked.

  2. Tanya says:

    Thank you for posting this article.

    Eidsvig , the Roman bishop of Oslo is being a little disingenuous here. To forestall a police investigation into the sex abuse of a child by a cleric may have serious implications as to the effective investigation and prosecution of the suspect. It could be seen, by some, not all, as an attempt to pervert the course of justice. Were Eidsvig’s lawyers behind this move? If so, why?

    The diocese of Oslo like all nordic diocese’ are primarily served by clerics from outside these national jurisdictions and to minister to non Norwegian Catholics. Eidsvig, has stated that the paedophile cleric is not Norwegian. I would hazard a guess and suggest that this cleric may well have a history of sexual offences against children- proven and unproven, in his home state or elsewhere, especially if he is a member of a missionary congregation. It remains to be seen whether Eidsvig was alerted to and advised of these offences prior to his arrival in the diocese or while serving in Norway. It may well be that whoever this clerics superior was outside Norway declined to advise the Oslo diocese of anything at all including allegations.

    As for Eidsvig’s assertion that this is the first case he is aware of in the Oslo diocese?

    Perhaps readers would examine the attached link;

    This is not the case at all.

    As an interesting addendum i supply the following;

    Countries with tiny numbers of Catholics such as Iceland have not been immune from sex crimes committed by Roman clergy against children. It is now coming to public attention that for over 40 years the Vicar General of the diocese of Reykjavik was sexually abusing children at a catholic school where he acted as principal. 4 bishops of Reykjavik came and went and declined to move against the paedophile cleric who was there number 2 man in the diocese. Rev. Agust Georg, a Dutch missionary priest of the congregation of Montfort Missionaries and now exposed as the cleric in question died in 2008.

    A fuller account of this crime is found in the link;

    The trajectory is pretty much the same as elsewhere; successive bishops. clergy and nuns endeavoured to hide and deny the crimes, protect the abusers and victimise the victims.

    Such was the feeling among local citizens in Reykjavik that a group descended upon the bishop of Reykjavik’s residence and proceeded to smash the windows.

    I would say given all that had occurred the bishop of Reykjavik got off lightly.


  3. Tanya says:

    One would have to be Sherlock Holmes to unravel this one;

    It would appear that the cleric responsible for the statutory rape of the minor is in fact a cleric belonging to the same religious order as Eidsvig, the bishop of Oslo. The order being the Canons Regular of St. Augustine(CRSA) based out of Kloisterneuberg, Austria.

    The diocese of Oslo and the religious order in question have been double quick in attempting to eradicate the offending clerics bio and pictures from their sites. So much for the bishop’s claims for transparency and openness. The cleric is now”abroad” whether sent by Eidsvig or actually there when the storm broke is unclear. He has it seems been warned not to return until the Norwegian police summon him for questioning. In Norway such an offence against a minor carries a
    maximum 6 year prison term.

    It is understood that prior to his appointment to the see of Oslo, Eidsvig had been the order’s novice master and was responsible for the cleric during his time as a novice in the order at Kloisterbeuberg. Eidsvig subsequently approved the clerics appointment to the Bergen, Norway Roman parish to serve his transition diaconate year before ordaining him in 2011 to the presbyterate when he was 31 years of age. I am curious. A religious order’s novice master would and indeed should know all about the novices placed in his care and intimately? Certainly it would be interesting to know if Eidsvig had prior knowledge or suspected the rapist cleric during his time as a novice at Kloisterbeuberg.

    Information is very hard to obtain. The Norwegian media are intent on focusing on Eidsvig’s decsion to”go public” prior to the start of any police investigation. I personally believe it is an attempt at managing and manipulation in an effort at “damage control”

    It has been precisely the issue of managing that has resulted in the scorn and derision being heaped upon Rome. The time for managing is well and truly over. Clearly some prelates have as yet to hear this word and live by it.

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