Paedophile priest dumped in SA

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April 30 2010 at 07:26AM

Anna Cox  

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:

  • Fondled boys in a parish sauna;
  • Allowed the boys to smoke cigarettes and hashish;
  • Gave away cellphones, gaming consoles and notebook computers;
  • Fondled a boy in front of witnesses and placed the boy in his bed;
  • Christopher, one of the victims, alleges he was given dagga to smoke, which made him defenceless. He alleges the priest burnt incense in the parish garden so that the neighbours would not smell the drug;
  • Christopher says he was allowed to drink as much schnapps as he wanted. The priest then put him in a bed, took off his clothes and abused him;
  • The priest’s computer was filled with pornography, and he was active on online sex lines;
  • There were sex toys and lubricant on the night stand;
  • The priest had a collection of pubic hair kept in organised plastic jars in his private study;
  • The priest made videos and took photos of the sex acts.According to the news service, Christopher, now 19, claims he endured years of sexual abuse from the age of 10.

    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.

    • This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on April 30, 2010
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