The Austrian priest Hermann Geissler, an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the organ of the Holy See that is responsible for ensuring compliance with the doctrinal rules of the Catholic Church and investigating child abuse On the part of the clergy, he has presented his resignation after being accused by a former priest. Geissler, 53, denies outright facts dating back to 2009 and, according to the complainant, consisted of trying to kiss him and hug her during a confession.
Doris Wagner-Reisinger is today an activist in the fight against the abuse of women in the clergy, she has recently written a book about her experiences (she denounces spiritual manipulation and mental control during her time as a nun) and has just participated in a documentary about the question. In 2008, when she belonged to a religious community with close ties to the Roman curia (Opus Spiritualis Familia, of which Geissler is a part), she had a brief sexual relationship with a priest whom the Italian press refers to as Father B. In October In 2011, he left the community to which he belonged in a friendly way.
Everything changed in 2012, when, as she explained, she began to process the facts from the perspective of abuse and manipulation. Then he met his current partner, a suspended priest, and began a legal and media campaign and denounced Father B for sexual violence. In Germany and Austria, where the complaints were filed, the courts concluded that they were consensual relationships. "A few months after taking the vows, a priest from the community came into my room and raped me." As I was getting naked, I managed to say, "You can not do it," but it did not help, and the next day I thought if he talked about it they would blame me, so I went to the chapel and smiled, as if nothing had happened, "he stressed during a meeting of Voices of the Faith held in Rome in November.
The complaint against Geissler, who has been working for the CDF for 25 years, fell with some skepticism among his surroundings. He has asked that the ongoing canonical investigation be carried to the end. "On January 28, 2019, Father Hermann Geissler requested permission from the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to leave his service, and the prefect accepted this request, and Geissler took this step to limit the damage already done to the Congregation. and his community, "said the Vatican press office.
The Vatican opened an investigation in 2014 when Wagner-Reisinger denounced the facts. Last November, the alleged victim returned to accuse him publicly during a meeting of ex-religious in Rome. "Geissler insists that the accusation against him is not true and asks that the canonical process that is under way continue, and also reserves the possibility of taking legal measures," the Holy See said. In fact, some sources in his environment tell this newspaper that he had already denounced the alleged victim for slander.
The accusation comes at a time when the Church is beginning to realize that, beyond the abuse of minors, there have been rapes of nuns in different parts of the world for years. According to canon 1387 of the Code of Canon Law, a priest who during a confession requests a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment must be punished with suspension, prohibitions or privations, and in more serious cases he must be removed from the clerical state.