April 30 2010 at 07:26AM
|A Joburg Catholic priest allegedly used alcohol, drugs, sex toys and a parish sauna while molesting boys in Germany.And, when the allegations surfaced, the Catholic diocese in Germany shipped him off to South Africa.
According to Spiegel-online, a German news service, the priest molested several children before being sent to South Africa.
Spiegel-online claims that a pastor and parishioners made the diocese aware of the priest’s sexual activities, but it did not take action, other than to send him to South Africa.
The church did not inform the Joburg parish of the complaints either.
Journalist Peter Wensierski said the priest could not be named in German newspapers as he had not been charged.
Wensierski told The Star that the priest had been sent to South Africa before the allegations could be investigated.
Wensierski said he suspected there were many more cases of alleged abuse involving the priest.
“There was an hour-long television programme featuring one of the victims.
“After the show, many people phoned in to say that they too had been victims of this man,” Wensierski added.
The priest, the news service alleges, victimised boys in the western German city of Aachen until 2007, but the church did not follow up on the claims.
Spiegel-online says the priest:
Father Chris Townsend, of the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said the church in South Africa had taken many steps to try to alleviate sexual abuse by priests.
“We have also strengthened our child protection guidelines in schools and parishes.
“Although these steps are not foolproof, we are making every effort we can to protect children and other vulnerable people.”
The allegations have surfaced amid a global outcry about the behaviour of Catholic priests and even the pope has been accused of covering up claims of abuse.