According to the Kronen Zeitung tabloid the 72-year-old monk has been released from jail pending a court appearance and has been suspended from all his priestly functions.
The Abbey has said it is waiting to hear the results of the police investigation and the court hearing before it makes a final decision on his fate. It has published a statement on its website saying that “under the strong influence of alcohol he availed himself of sexual services. One of the two people involved was, however, underage.”
The monk is reported to have made a full confession and to have said that he regrets the incident very much. The minor is believed to be a 12-year-old boy, according to a report from news channel ATV.
The monastic community had said that it also deeply regrets the incident and has sought to disassociate itself from it. “Our first concern was to ensure clarity. Now we must let the courts do their work and wait and see what happens,” Abbott Maximilian Neulinger said. The case is likely to be referred to the Vatican.
The monk was released from custody on May 27th, with the requirement that he give up alcohol and undergo psychotherapy. The 72-year-old had been suffering for some time with alcohol addiction, and for this reason had retired as a priest.
He had held services in a local retirement home and led guided tours of the Abbey for tourists. “He is in no way connected to the two schools which the Abbey helps run,” Abbott Neulinger said.