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German Priest in Sex Abuse Case Suspended

Peter Hullermann convicted in 1986, but continued to serve
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2010 10:41 AM CDT
German Priest in Sex Abuse Case Suspended
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Germany's top bishop, listens to questions on the sex scandal.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – When Pope Benedict was Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, he transferred Peter Hullermann to a different diocese in Germany after the priest was accused of sexually molesting young boys. Six years later, in 1986, Hullermann was convicted of sexual abuse but received a suspended sentence and continued in the priesthood—and working with children. Finally, now that his name is out, Hullermann has been suspended.

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Though he was supposed to be forbidden from interacting with children, the New York Times reports, Hullermann often held posts that put him in close contact. “They should have told me before,” says the head priest at Bad Tölz, where Hullermann is currently posted. “If you get divorced and remarry you can’t take communion, but someone convicted of molesting children can celebrate Mass for the rest of his life,” says a congregant, incredulously. Still, many stand by him, and a church statement cites “no evidence of recent sexual abuses.” (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

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