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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Porn furore vexes Austrian leader
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel
Schuessel said he wanted a speedy explanation
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel has spoken out over a sex scandal at a Roman Catholic priests' training college that has shocked the country.

Mr Schuessel called for a full explanation of the scandal, which erupted when child pornography was allegedly found at the seminary.

Further images then emerged showing clerics kissing and fondling trainees.

Mr Schuessel said he was speaking as a believer and a Catholic, not in his role as chancellor.

Officers have confiscated computer hard drives during their investigation at the seminary in St Poelten, about 80km (50 miles) west of the Austrian capital, Vienna.

As many as 40,000 sexual images were allegedly found, but the bishop in charge of the diocese, Kurt Krenn, has dismissed them as a "schoolboy prank" and rejected calls for his resignation.

Mr Schuessel said in a radio interview that he could not comment as chancellor because of the separation between church and state in Austria.

But he added: "The authorities are investigating, and as a believer and a Catholic, I want a speedy and frank explanation."

Bishop defiant over sex scandal
15 Jul 04  |  Europe
Austria probes priest sex claims
12 Jul 04  |  Europe

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