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Accused Priest Remains Active at Vatican’s Doctrinal Congregation

Although the claim against Fr. Hermann Geissler was brought forward two months ago, he was listed by the Vatican as taking part in an international meeting of Asian bishops’ conference officials in Bangkok

A Catholic priest serving as an official of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation has remained in his role after being publicly accused of soliciting a woman for sex in the confessional.

Although the claim against Fr. Hermann Geissler was brought forward two months ago, he was listed by the Vatican Jan. 18 as taking part in an international meeting of Asian bishops’ conference officials in Bangkok, as head of the doctrinal section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Asked about the case against Geissler, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti told NCR Jan. 21 that the priest is “under examination by the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who reserve the right to take the appropriate initiatives.”

Doris Wagner, a German, recalled being approached by Geissler during confession in 2009 at a Nov. 27 Rome event focused on giving voice to women survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

While Wagner did not name Geissler at the event, she said the incident had occurred with someone who is “now a capo ufficio (section leader) in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

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