2 Catholic priests suspended

COPENHAGEN - Two priests in the Catholic Church in Denmark have been suspended over child abuse probes, news reports said yesterday.

COPENHAGEN - Two priests in the Catholic Church in Denmark have been suspended over child abuse probes, news reports said yesterday.

One of the priests was suspected of abusing a 17-year-old choirboy in 1989. The alleged victim filed a complaint on Sunday and the priest has gone on sick leave, the church said.

The same priest has also been linked to a second child abuse case, a church spokesperson told the Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

"It is also an old case, but the priest is still in active service," spokesperson Niels Engelbrecht said.

Another priest told public broadcaster DR on Sunday evening that he was unaware of any wrongdoing, saying he had only hugged children in his parish.

Leaders of the Catholic Church in the predominantly Lutheran country were yesterday scheduled to meet with the Danish Bar Association to name an independent lawyer who was to gain access to church archives over alleged child abuse cases.

Last week the Catholic Church in Denmark decided that the police would be notified about all cases of alleged child abuse linked to priests. Some 18 child abuse cases have emerged.

Some of the cases date back to the 1970s and 1980s. - Sapa-dpa

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