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Roman Catholic Seminary Caught in Porn Scandal

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Sep 30, 2004 2:26 PM PDT    Text size: 
ST. POELTEN, Austria – On the heels of an investigation into an Austria-based seminary and the discovery of a substantial collection of pornography, a Roman Catholic Bishop has submitted his resignation to Pope John Paul II.

Bishop Kurt Krenn was the overseer of the St. Poelten seminary that was rocked by scandal in July. He has reportedly taken the blame from the Vatican for the porn discovery that resulted in more than 10,000 followers leaving the Roman Catholic Church.

“Yes, I am resigning immediately as bishop of St. Poelten,” Krenn said in his statement.

The furor against Krenn stemmed from his alleged casual treatment of the porn incident, calling it nothing more than a "childish prank," a local newspaper reported.

The seminary was reportedly shut down in July after photographs depicting two priests in a romantic tryst were discovered, leading to outrage among church officials and believers. The photographs not only included sexual activity between the two priests in training, but also included several of their instructors.

The seminary was shut down and 40,000 porn images were found on computer hard drives, in some cases including child porn, authorities said.

The investigation into the presence of child pornography on seminary computers is still underway, police said. A former seminary student has already been charged with distributing illegal content over the Internet.

An official statement from the Vatican is still pending.

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