Vatican City, May 16, 2019 / 10:23 am America/Denver (CNA).
A Vatican court has decided not to initiate canonical charges against a former Vatican official, after an investigation into allegations he made sexual advances toward a woman in the confessional several years ago.
Fr. Hermann Geissler, 53, is a member of Familia spiritualis Opus (FSO), informally known as “Das Werk.”
Geissler's community announced today that five judges of the Vatican’s supreme tribunal decided May 15 that Geissler would not be tried for “a delict of solicitation to a sin against the sixth commandment in the context of confession.”
A preliminary investigation into the matter, as specified by canon 1717 of the Code of Canon Law, was carried out by the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
Most likely to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Pope Francis requested the Signatura undertake the process instead of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office usually charged with reviewing allegations of this kind.
Geissler, who maintained his innocence throughout the process, stepped down from his position within the CDF Jan. 29, where he had been an official since 1993. From 2009 he had been the head of the congregation’s teaching office.