Sexual abuse scandal in Vienna archdiocese

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The sexual abuse scandal in Austria is a major chapter in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in various Western jurisdictions.

Cardinal Groër[edit]

Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër was removed from office by John Paul II for alleged sexual misconduct. Officially, the Pope accepted the resignation letter which Groër had written on the occasion of his 75th birthday. This made Groër, who adamantly refused until his death to comment in public on the allegations, one of the highest-ranking Catholic clergymen to be involved in the sexual abuse scandals.[1]

Upon request of the Holy See, Groër spent several months in Dresden and later retired to St. Joseph's Priory.[2] Groër died in Sankt Pölten at age 83, and is buried in a Cistercian cemetery in Marienfeld, Austria.

Seminary of Sankt Pölten[edit]

Bishop Kurt Krenn resigned from his post (see of Sankt Pölten, a suffragan of Vienna) in 2004 after there was a scandal concerning child pornography allegedly being downloaded by a student at the seminary.[3][4] Up to 40,000 photos and an undisclosed number of films, including child pornography, were found on the computer of one of the seminarians, but Krenn earlier angered many by calling the images a "childish prank."[5]

John Paul II ordered an investigation into the allegations, and Krenn voluntarily resigned from the post.[6][7]

Public reaction[edit]

In 2004, Church leaders declared that a number of Austrian laypeople had left the Catholic Church as a consequence of the scandal. [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary: Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer; Disgraced Archbishop of Vienna.(Obituaries) - The Independent (London, England) - HighBeam Research
  2. ^ "'Exile' for disgraced Austrian cardinal". BBC News. 1998-04-14. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  3. ^ Wiley, David (2004-10-07). "Pope replaces sex scandal bishop". BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  4. ^ Horowitz, Jason (2004-10-08). "New Bishop After Seminary Sex Scandal". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  5. ^ "Sex Scandal At Austrian Seminary". Associated Press. 2004-07-13. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  6. ^ Pope orders Austria abuse inquiry
  7. ^ Willey, David (October 7, 2004). "Pope replaces sex scandal bishop". BBC News. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Catholic Church losing members over sex scandals (Austria)

External links[edit]