Thursday, April 12, 2012

Alleged ex-mistress of priest at centre of Austrian storm goes public

Angebliche Ex-Geliebte des Pfarrers meldet sich - Religion & Politik - › Inland:

Archdiocese will neither confirm nor deny

Mistelbach - The debate over the Parish of Stützenhofen in the Weinviertel and its pastor leads to more and more to the mudslinging. At the parish council elections in mid-March, the 26-year-old homosexual Florian Stangl was elected with 80 percent of the vote but he was rejected by Rev. Gerhard Swierzek because of his lifestyle. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn gave the candidate before Easter his blessing, and confirmed the election, but the parish does not settle down and always fresh allegations become loud. In the daily newspaper "Kurier" (Thursday edition), a woman came forward to speak, who claims to be an ex-lover of the clergy.

Swierzek was from 2003 until 2005 parish priest of Pressbaum (Diocese of St. Pölten ). During this period, he had for three months a relationship with the now 55-year-old woman. A friend told her at that time out of the blue the news that the parish priest was resigning and he could not after that be reached. He had told Schönborn on the same night that he had "emotionally hurt" a woman and then had been given two weeks sick leave, according to the woman in the "Kurier".

The Archdiocese of Vienna reacted cautiously to the allegations. “He left the Parish of Pressbaum at his own request for personal reasons. Whether that was because of a relationship that had come to an end, I cannot confirm, but will not not deny," said Michael Prüller, spokesman for the Cardinal, in the report. On Wednesday, Father Swierzek was not available for comment to the APA.
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