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Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 18:40 UK

Norway ex-bishop quit over child sex abuse

File photo of Bishop Georg Mueller from 15 January 2005
Georg Mueller underwent therapy after admitting to abuse

A former Roman Catholic bishop in Norway left his post after admitting to child sex abuse, the Church says.

Georg Mueller resigned as bishop of Trondheim in June 2009 but the abuse allegations were not made public.

The case, which reportedly dates back two decades, cannot now be tried because of the statute of limitations, the current bishop of Trondheim said.

The recent emergence of child sex abuse allegations across Europe has placed severe pressure on the Catholic Church.

"The Catholic Church in Norway is in shock after it was revealed that former bishop Mueller of Trondheim admitted being guilty of sexual abuse of a minor and said that was why he left his post last year," said a Church statement.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

The 58-year-old ex-bishop, who was born in Germany, was removed from his duties and sent for therapy after he admitted to a single case of abuse, said his successor, Bishop Bernt Eidsvig.

He said the case was not initially made public at the request of the victim.

At the time, his departure was attributed to clashes over his management style, local media reports said.

The Norwegian paper Adresseavisen reported that the Church had discovered the abuse allegations in January 2009, and the Vatican had ordered the then bishop's departure after an internal investigation.

Norway is a mainly Lutheran country, and Church officials estimate the number of Catholics at about 100,000.



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