Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

German sex abuser priest suspended for breaching ban

Roman Catholic altar
The priest was transferred to other parishes after the allegations

A German priest convicted of molesting boys in 1986 has been suspended from his duties after breaching a ban on working with children.

Father Peter Hullermann abused children during his time in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, when the current Pope was the archbishop there.

The archdiocese said he was "forbidden from any work with children", but did not specify how he breached the ban.

He had been given a 18-month suspended jail sentence in 1986.

The archdiocese identified the priest only as Rev H, although his full name has been widely reported in the media.

Supervisor resigns

It said he was suspended on Monday after "it was proved he did not comply with the conditions set following allegations of sexually abusing minors and a conviction in the justice system".

It added: "He was forbidden from any work with children and youth."

Italian reports said he had recently been on a camping trip with young people at his current parish in Bavaria.

Father Hullermann's supervisor, Josef Obermaier, resigned, the archdiocese said.

Pope Benedict XVI was known as Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger during his time in the archdiocese from 1977 to 1982.

Last week, following a report in the Munich-based newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the archdiocese confirmed that Archbishop Ratzinger had let the priest stay at a vicarage in Munich for "therapy".

1985 suspension

Father Hullermann, now 62, had been suspected of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform a sex act upon him in the northern city of Essen.

While he was in Munich, between February 1980 and August 1982, no wrongdoing was reported.

Archbishop Ratzinger's former deputy, Gerhard Gruber, earlier stressed that his boss was not made aware of the abuse allegations.

Father Hullermann was then transferred to the town of Grafing, where he was relieved of his duties in 1985 after allegations of child sex abuse, the diocese said.

In 1986, he was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence and a fine for sexually abusing minors, details of which were not given by the diocese.

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