According to a media report, the Limburg Catholic bishop and chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Georg Bätzing, promoted a priest despite allegations of harassment.

"Insight and remorse" on the part of the pastor were a prerequisite for appointing him district dean despite the allegations, the supplement "Christ und Welt" in the weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" reported on Tuesday in advance.

Bätzing had previously warned the pastor about the harassment of two women.

The press office of the Diocese of Limburg has confirmed the research.

As reported by the German Press Agency (dpa), a spokesman for Bätzing said on Tuesday that it was correct that the bishop had issued a warning against the priest.

Before the person concerned was appointed district dean, the allegations were re-examined.

Also because it was not a question of criminally relevant behavior and because the pastor had insight and remorse and apologized to the parish officer for his behavior, the bishop then appointed him one of the eleven district deans of the Limburg diocese.

This means that the pastor is the regional representative of the bishop.

The diocese of Limburg includes parts of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.

Bätzing is said to have confronted pastors with allegations

According to “Christ und Welt”, the Catholic priest is said to have verbally and physically sexually harassed a Protestant pastor in training in 2000.

She told the newspaper about it.

The press office of the Diocese of Limburg informed the newspaper that Bätzing considered the allegations to be credible and had confronted the pastor with them.

The same pastor is said to have molested a Catholic parish clerk-in-training between 2006 and 2007.

Today's community officer described her case "Christ and World".

The affected Protestant pastor, whose name is not mentioned for reasons of privacy, criticized the promotion.

From an email to Bätzing, “Christ und Welt” further quotes: “How should past misdeeds and a move away from destructive and sinister structures really be dealt with if the perpetrators of the past are not only not suspended, but are also promoted?

From a moral point of view, I cannot understand this decision."

“The diocese acted directly”

The Limburg diocese spokesman Stephan Schnelle said on Tuesday at the request of the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on the second case that in 2007 a parish assistant reported to the diocese and argued that the pastor in the parish in which she was employed called her by a pet name titled and ran my hand through her hair and down her back.

"The diocese acted directly," said Schnell.

In a conversation between those responsible for training and the pastor, it was made clear that he had to refrain from such behavior.

The parish assistant asked for a transfer and continued her education in another parish in the diocese.

The misconduct of the pastor, which is described here, was confirmed by a witness.

In 2010, the community assistant reported to the diocese's abuse officer, now that she had completed her training as a community officer.

In his legal expertise, he assessed the allegations from 2007 as “sexual harassment at work”.

The canon lawyer Thomas Schüller sharply criticized Bätzing's actions.

"It is a shameful process for Bishop Bätzing, because the whole contempt for women in the church comes to light here," Schüller told the dpa.

“Women are still not taken seriously when they report such incidents.

The thinking is: If there are sexual acts between a priest and an adult woman, then it is by mutual consent, because the woman could have defended herself.

The fact that there was a total dependency in this case, for example, is completely ignored.

Bätzing wants to be a trendsetter, but repeats old mistakes.”

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