Austria’s Catholic Church has expressed deep shame and regret over a growing child sex buse scandal.
It has now been revealed a priest from the south east region of Austria is suspected of abusing up to 20 children.
The news follows the resignation of Arch-Abbot Bruno Becker following sex-abuse allegations dating back 40 years.
Becker was the head of a monastery in Salzburg, now Kalksburg College in Vienna is also under investigation after allegations by former pupils including artist Andre Heller.
“In my personal case, he did not abuse me,” he said. “I had a special relationship because he came to my bed and tenderly touched my head in this room where many children slept in military beds, he gave me some chocolate which was nice for me because I was always looking for tenderness in this strict regime.”
“Was it abuse?”
“Not for me, I have not been abused, He just caressed me.”
The scandal first came to light in the Netherlands where Catholic bishops have ordered an independent inquiry into alleged child sex-abuse by clergymen.
Church authorities in Germany, Ireland and the US have all been tainted by child sex-abuse scandals and efforts to cover them up at the highest levels.