Norwegian Bishop Resigned Over Abuse Charges

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 12, 2010 ( A Vatican spokesman has confirmed that Benedict XVI accepted the immediate resignation last year of a Norwegian bishop who was accused of sexual abusing a minor in the early 1990s.

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Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, confirmed this in comments to the press Wednesday.

Bishop Georg Müller, who had been the prelate Territorial Prelature of Trondheim since 1997, submitted his resignation to the Holy Father in January 2009. The request was accepted and the bishop stepped down last June.

Reasons for his resignation were not given at the time, but Father Lombardi confirmed that it was “a case of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1990s, which came to the knowledge of the ecclesiastical authorities in January 2009.”
“The issue was addressed and examined with speed through the Stockholm Nunciature by order of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” the spokesman added. “In May 2009, the bishop tendered his resignation, which was appropriately accepted by the Holy Father and in June he left his see. He submitted himself to a period of therapy and does not engage in any pastoral activity.
“From the point of view of civil legislation the case was prescribed; the victim, at present an adult, has always asked to remain anonymous.”

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