An official with the Archdiocese of Vienna urged the Vatican on July 14, to oust a Roman Catholic bishop in charge of a seminary where candidates for the priesthood hoarded child pornography and photos of themselves kissing and fondling one another. The cleric, Bishop Kurt Krenn, has dismissed the photos as part of a schoolboy prank. Police examined the hard drives on computers seized at the seminary in St. Poelten as part of a child porn investigation. The discs contained about 40,000 photographs and numerous videos, including child pornography and photos of young seminarians kissing and fondling one another and their older instructors and engaging in sex games.
A 27 year old unidentified Polish seminary student has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography as the investigation widened into Austria's worst church sex scandal in nearly a decade. The student was charged with distribution as well as possession because the images of children in sexual situations were stored on computers that were readily available to other students at the seminary. If tried and convicted, the suspect could face up to two years in prison.
Austrian media reported on September 29 that Krenn has resigned. He told Der Standard newspaper he was stepping down voluntarily from the post he has held for 13 years, and not because of pressure from Rome.