clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

CARDINAL TO RETIRE IN WAKE OF SCANDAL

Vienna's Archbishop Hans Hermann Groer, who has been plagued by repeated allegations of gay sexual abuse, will retire in September.

Austria's archbishop to the Vatican, Alois Wagner, told Austrian television late Wednesday the Holy See would probably accept the resignation of the 75-year-old cardinal on Sept. 14.In March, a former student accused Groer of abusing him in a shower at a Catholic boys' school near Vienna 20 years ago. Four other former pupils have alleged anonymously that the cardinal sexually molested them.

Groer neither clearly admitted nor denied the acusations, saying he found it impossible to defend himself against the claims. "The only thing left to me is silence," Groer said in a statement in May.

The "Groer affair," as it was quickly dubbed, has caused turmoil within the church and Austrian society, and bishops in the liberal wing of the church here threatened to resign in the face of papal inaction.