Prague, Czech Republic – The Vatican has banned a Czech priest from practicing over allegations that he had sexually abused several women during the 1990s, the Czech News Agency (CTK) reported on Wednesday.
The priest is accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate contact and behaviour with two women between 1991 and 1999 in his parish in Pelhrimov, located roughly half-way between Prague and Brno.
The suspect abused his position as a priest and betrayed the two women’s trust, prosecutor in charge of the case Karel Váňa said a few months ago when Czech authorities launched the investigation.
The alleged victims reportedly turned to Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s top prosecutor on cases of sexual abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, who then intervened with the bishop of Ceske Budejovice, under whose jurisdiction the Pelhrimov parish falls.
In November, the Czech Bishops’ Conference had filed a criminal complaint against unknown individuals over possible cases of sexual abuse within the church reported in the media. According to its legal representative Ronald Nemec, Catholic Church officials decided to hand over the matter to criminal authorities after failing to uncover the identity of the suspects.
According to local media hlidacipes.org, who first reported on this story, the decision is not final and has been appealed by the priest.