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Priest Accused of Sexual Harassment in Confessional Steps Down From Vatican Post

An Austrian priest and theologian has resigned from his position at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, amid charges that he made sexual advances toward a woman in the confessional several years ago.

The priest maintains his innocence.

Fr. Hermann Geissler, 53, has been an official within the CDF since 1993, and in 2009 became the head of the congregation’s teaching office.

A statement released Jan. 29 said that Geissler “affirms that the accusation made against him is untrue, and asks that the canonical process already initiated continue. He also reserves the right for possible civil legal action.”

Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed to CNA that allegations against Geissler are being examined by the CDF, which is the Vatican office charged with reviewing allegations of this kind.

CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria accepted the priest’s resignation, which was submitted Jan. 28. The statement said Geissler decided to step down “to limit the damage already done to the Congregation and to his Community.”

Read the rest at Catholic World Report