An Austrian priest Arch-Abbot Bruno Becker has resigned over child sex abuse allegations dating back 40 years.
He is the latest Roman Catholic cleric to caught up in a growing child abuse scandal in Europe which is moving ever closer to the Vatican.
Last year Becker is said to have been confronted with the allegations but refused to give up his job. He is then is said to have written and offered a 5,000 euro payment to his alleged victim.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands an investigation has been launched into sexual abuse allegations by priests in the 1950s.
More than 200 Catholics in the past week have come forward to give evidence after a radio station carried a report on the accusations.
The Dutch Catholic church has stressed it wants the investigation to be independent. But it is in Germany that the scandal has landed at the Vatican’s door.
Reports of abuse have surfaced at three schools in the southern state of Bavaria. They include Regensburg Cathedral school where the pope’s brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger was choir master between 1964-1994.
In a newspaper interview he has denied knowing anything about sexual abuse allegations but he has admitted handing out corporal punishment, which in those days was acceptable.
He has, however, also said he never believed stories told to him of more extreme and violent treatment inflicted on some pupils.