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Austria probes seminary sex claims

An investigation is under way in Austria after media reports of sexual misconduct at a seminary at St Poelten, west of Vienna.

According to the reports, priests were photographed fondling and kissing trainee priests and pornographic images were found on the seminary computers.

The BBC reports that the school director and his deputy have resigned.

The Austrian Bishops' Conference has promised a full and swift internal investigation.

"Anything that has to do with the practice of homosexuality or pornography has no place at a seminary for priests," it said.

Austrian news magazine Profil published the pictures of the alleged abuse at St Poelten, about 80km west of Vienna.

It also reported that a police investigation had uncovered as many as 40,000 images and videos - some allegedly including child pornography - on computers at the seminary.

Austria probes priest sex claims (BBC 12/7/04)

Priests 'In Orgy' at Seminary (The Scotsman 12/7/04)
Child protection office launches annual report (Independent Catholic News 12/7/04)
Krisensitzung in St. Pölten: Konsistorium tagte ( 12/7/04)
Sex abuse expert furore (The Mercury 8/7/04)
Catholic priest on bail (Herald-Sun 10/7/04)
Accused priest granted bail (The Australian 9/7/04)
Accused priest granted bail (The Age 9/7/04)
NZ's process for handling abuse cases compares well (NZ Catholic 27/6/04)

13 Jul 2004