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Monastery raid

March 3, 2010

Prosecutors in Bavaria raided a Roman Catholic monastery school in an investigation into abuse of former pupils. Three monks have been suspended in the latest abuse scandal to hit the church this year.

A window frame in the shape of a cross at the the Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin
Some 20 allegations have been received from ex-pupilsImage: picture-alliance/ dpa

Investigators raided a Benedictine-run boarding school in the Bavarian town of Ettal after allegations of sexual abuse.

Officials from the Upper Bavarian state prosecutors office carried out a search of the monastery school on Tuesday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for the state prosecutor said that staff at the monastery had cooperated and that the atmosphere had been "quiet and calm."

Four priests are suspected to have been involved in the abuse, one of whom is dead. In connection with the accusations, three monks at the Wechselburg monastery in Saxony have now been suspended. They face allegations of abuse during their time at Ettal after some 20 allegations by former pupils over incidents that took place mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.

The precise nature of the accusations has not been revealed. Maurus Krass, prior and head of the school, last week resigned for not relaying allegations of child sex abuse between 2003 and 2005 to clerical authorities.

The overall number of abuse complaints by former pupils at Roman Catholic schools has risen to 150 nationwide since complaints at Berlin's Canisius College were made public in January.

The statute of limitations has lapsed on most of the cases, meaning individuals cannot be prosecuted.

Editor: Rob Turner