Budapest, March 29 (MTI) – The Archabbey of Pannonhalma in western Hungary has shed light on a 20-year-old case of sexual abuse involving one of the former teachers at the abbey’s boys’ boarding school.
Prior Cirill T Hortobágyi told journalists that last summer a former pupil of the boarding school filed a complaint of sexual abuse against one of his former teachers. The ex-pupil alleged that the teacher, who is now over the age of 70, abused him sexually in 1996.
Hortobágyi revealed that the monk in question confessed to the accusation and turned himself in to the district prosecutor in Győr, western Hungary, at the request of Arch Abbot Asztrik Várszegi.
The prosecution determined that a crime was committed but did not press charges against the monk on the grounds that the case had lapsed.
Hortobágyi said that as there is no statute of limitations in such cases under Canon Law, the archabbey had sent the documents detailing its interior investigation in the matter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In a resolution filed at the beginning of the month, the Congregation ordered the monk to withdraw from society to lead a solitary life. Hortobágyi said the monk accepted the ruling and had asked for the forgiveness of those he had hurt.
Várszegi said the case had “shocked” the entire abbey. He said the Pannonhalma abbey would follow Pope Francis in asking for the forgiveness of all victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.