Pope Francis puts Austria abuse diocese into administration

Gurk hit by scandal involving woman, financial affairs

(ANSA) - Vatican City, June 28 - Pope Francis on Friday put an Austrian diocese hit in recent years by sex abuse and financial scandals into administration.
    The pope appointed Mons. Werner Freistetter, a military bishop, as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Gurk.
    Announcing the move, Vatican Press Office Director Alessandro Gisotti said "the Holy See's examination of the complex affair which emerged from the Apostolic Visit to the diocese of Gurk is still in course". Financia disarray and alleged corruption emerged at Gurk in 2018, a few months after Bishop Alois Schwarz was moved to another diocese after 17 years at Gurk.
    In a report, Msgr Engelbert Guggemberger said Schwarz had allowed a woman to "damage the reputation of the episcopal office and the Church in Carinthia." He said "he was thus open to blackmail by his priests in the context of the obligation of living in celibacy".


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