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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Seminary shut over porn scandal
Bishop Klaus Kueng
A 'new beginning' is needed at the seminary, Bishop Kueng says
A Vatican-appointed bishop has closed down an Austrian seminary following allegations of sexual impropriety.

Bishop Klaus Kueng said the seminary in St Poelten, near Vienna, had veered away from its mission to train young men into the Roman Catholic Church.

Last month the bishop was appointed by Pope John Paul II to investigate, after a seminary student was charged with distributing child pornography.

The affair has shocked Austria and embarrassed the Catholic Church.

On Thursday Bishop Kueng, of the Austrian city of Feldkirch, accused the seminary leadership of "paying too little attention to recruiting requirements".

To justify the immediate closing down of the establishment, he said: "A new beginning is necessary."

The authorities say images of child pornography and violent sex were found on the college's main computer and a student's hard drive.

The images are also reported to include pictures of students kissing and fondling each other and their older instructors.

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