Acquittal of Vatican official a ‘scandalous verdict’

Canon lawyer Professor Thomas Schüller of Münster University, one of Germany’s best-known canon law experts, has sharply criticised the acquittal of Vatican official Fr Hermann Geissler (FSO), an Austrian priest and a former section head at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

He called the acquittal a “scandalous verdict” as it had been made without hearing the plaintiff Doris Wagner-Reisinger.

On 15 May, the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the Church apart from the Pope, acquitted Fr Geissler, 53, of charges of solicitation during Confession made against him by Doris Wagner-Reisinger, a former nun born in 1983, when she, too, was a member of the FSO (The Spiritual Family “The Work”).

The reason given for the acquittal was that “the circumstances of an alleged serious crime had not been proven with sufficient moral certainty.” Read more

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