Bishop begins probe of Austria's seminary sex scandal

Austrian Bishop Klaus Kueng, appointed apostolic visitator by Pope John Paul II began investigating a sex scandal at a seminary outside Vienna, saying he was saddened by the scandal that has shocked the traditionally Catholic country.

"I will speak with everybody who feels that he has something to tell me," Bishop Kueng told reporters after arriving Wednesday at the St Poelten seminary.

Kueng said he had viewed the photographs that sparked the scandal, some of which were published last week by the Austrian weekly news magazine Profil.

"This has made me very sad. The authenticity has to be proved, as well as who did what and when," added the Bishop.

Kueng, a member of Opus Dei and Bishop of Feldkirch in eastern Austria, was appointed by Pope John Paul on Tuesday to lead the probe, a day after a 27-year-old Polish student priest was charged with possessing some 10,000 pornographic photographs.

However, the suspect, named only as Krzysztof S., denied any wrongdoing: "This affair does not concern me at all. I think they have mixed up two different people," he told the Polish news agency PAP from his hometown of Lubaczow in southeastern Poland.

The bishop of St Poelten, Kurt Krenn, has welcomed the Pope's decision, according to a local news agency.

Kueng said Wednesday that he had met with Krenn on Tuesday evening, as the latter is going on holiday.  "I have already met with him," Kueng said. "I think one should understand that Bishop Krenn finds himself in a very difficult position." He added that the bishop would "soon" return to St Poelten.

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