It said: “We are devastated and full of grief. Christof May was questioned yesterday in a personal conversation about allegations of abusive behavior. Subsequently, Bishop Georg Bätzing had removed him from all offices in order to be able to review and investigate the allegations.”
“The death of Christof May affects us all. We have lost a committed and much-appreciated pastor.”
On June 10, the Limburg diocese publicly confirmed the death, but did not provide more details.
The German newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse reported that the 49-year-old rector left a suicide note, which led to a search effort involving police, firefighters, and members of the German Red Cross. His body was found in a forest on the morning of June 9 after a police helicopter spotted his car nearby.
A senior prosecutor confirmed to the paper that there were “no indications of external causes or a criminal act that led to the death.”
Bishop Bätzing was recently criticized for promoting a priest who was accused of sexual misconduct by two women. Bätzing learned about the issue after he was made bishop of the Diocese of Limburg in 2016 and met with both victims.