Saxony: abuse in Heidenauer community: priest's grave dissolved

A Catholic community is working on the sexual abuse of children and young people.

Saxony: abuse in Heidenauer community: priest's grave dissolved

A Catholic community is working on the sexual abuse of children and young people. The main perpetrator, a popular pastor, has been dead for decades - the discussion about it is now being followed by deeds.

Heidenau/Dresden (dpa/sn) - In the course of processing the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic St. George parish in Heidenau (Saxon Switzerland), the final resting place of the main perpetrator has been leveled. The grave of former pastor Herbert Jungnitsch (1898-1971) was cleared on May 23, Stephan von Spies, legal adviser to the diocese of Dresden-Meissen, told the German Press Agency. And forensic medicine experts took samples "to determine paternity."

The community had already decided on the grave dissolution in 2021, in the meantime applications for the paternity test have been received, said community officer Benno Kirtzel. According to Spies, whether the result will be published is open and depends on the wishes of the person who commissioned the investigation.

The community was officially informed in July 2020 about what was happening around Jungnitsch. A public meeting where everything was on the table marked the internal process in September 2021. "The processing is ongoing," said Kirtzel.

Jungnitsch, pastor from 1948 to 1971, was guilty of at least four cases of sexual and physical violence, including severe child abuse. As early as 2010, those affected contacted the bishop at the time and reported repeated and sometimes very serious sexual violence between 1964 and 1968.

Victims were girls between the ages of four and eight, crime scenes, rooms in the parish and the priest's apartment, the gallery behind the organ or a floor above the parish room. At least six other men between the ages of 20 and 70, including family members, are said to have been involved. The ordinariate speaks of an unprecedented case since 1945.

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