Hamburg Archbishop Stefan Hess testified on Tuesday before the Cologne Regional Court as a witness in an abuse trial against a Catholic priest.
Cologne – The Hamburg Archbishop Stefan Hess testified on Tuesday before the Cologne Regional Court as a witness in an abuse trial against a Catholic priest. Hesse described how in 2010, when he was head of HR at the Archdiocese of Cologne, he had given the priest a leave of absence after it became known that the public prosecutor was investigating the man. The leave of absence was granted immediately. “That’s why we acted decisively and quickly,” said Hess.
However, prosecutors dropped their investigation after some time because the priest’s nieces, who had accused him, withdrew their testimony. “I no longer understood the world that day,” said Hess. According to the archdiocese’s legal experts, there was no longer any basis for church proceedings. On the instructions of Archbishop Joachim Meisner at the time, the priest was reinstated. He was involved with children again and is said to have committed abuse again. (dpa)