Future open, says Austrian bishop as inquiry continues

July 27, 2004

PASSAU — The Austrian bishop at the centre of a Vatican inquiry is no longer ruling out stepping down, according to an interview with a German newspaper published Monday.

Kurt Krenn, 68, a conservative bishop who has been attacked for a lack of action and communication over a child-pornography scandal at a seminary, was asked if he would still be bishop of St. Poelten at the start of 2005.

"I cannot say. I could be promoted in the meantime. Or demoted. I just don't know. Maybe I won't even be alive. Anything's possible," he told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

Last week an apostolic visitor, or representative of Pope John Paul II, began an inquiry in St. Poelten. Klaus Kueng, who is another Austrian bishop, will compile a report for the Vatican.

Krenn denied there was a scandal over his leadership. Two seminary officials have resigned in his diocese and police are investigating at least one student for the priesthood to establish if he downloaded sex pictures of children to his computer.

In the interview, Krenn said he would like an inquiry into the provenance of pictures showing the seminary officials fondling students, saying it was possible the photos had been doctored. – Sapa-dpa

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Resignation demanded of Austrian bishop in porn scandal [15/07/2004]



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