Vatican priest who oversaw Catholic moral doctrine resigns ‘after making advances towards a NUN during confession’
- Father Hermann Geissler quit as chief of office that handles sex abuse cases
- Austrian priest said he resigned ‘to limit damage already done to congregation’
- Accused of soliciting sex from nun Doris Wagner at sex abuse survivor meeting
A senior Vatican priest who oversaw sex abuse cases has resigned after being accused of making advances towards a nun during a confession.
Austrian Father Hermann Geissler, 53, a top official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said he was stepping down ‘to limit the damage already caused to the Congregation and its Community’.
He professed his innocence and asked that a canon trial – which has already started – should continue.
Austrian Father Hermann Geissler, 53, is accused of coming on to a nun at an event for women who survived clerical sex abuse in 2009
Geissler – whose office oversaw sex abuse cases – said he would consider legal action to protect his reputation.
He’s accused by German former nun Doris Wagner of soliciting sex with her in 2009 during an event for women who had survived clerical sex abuse.
‘He kept me for hours, kneeling before him, he told me that he loved me and that he knew that I loved him and that even if we couldn’t marry, there were other ways,’ Wagner said.
‘He tried to take me in his arms and kiss me. I panicked and ran.’
Geissler – whose office oversaw sex abuse cases – said he would consider legal action to protect his reputation
Soliciting sex in a confessional is considered a grave crime in the church, given that the penitent is in a vulnerable state, asking for forgiveness for sin from a priest in a Catholic sacrament.
Wagner also accused another priest of raping her in 2008.
He was removed from the Vatican but remains a priest in a community where ‘many young nuns live’, according to Wagner.