By Lourine Oluoch
VATICAN, SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 (CISA)-Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp, Auxilliary of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany will work for one year in Kenya, as a chaplain in the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa.
According to a statement released by the German Bishop’s Conference, Bishop Schwaderlapp requested Pope Francis to carry out his pastoral ministry in Kenya for a year before resuming his duties in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne.
Bishop Schwaderlapp, “has asked to be allowed to work for one year as a chaplain in the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya, before returning to his ministry as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Cologne. The Holy Father has granted this request,” the September 24 statement said.
This comes after a Vatican investigation cleared the two auxiliaries, Dominikus Schwaderlapp and Ansgar Puff of accusations of mishandling cases of clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne.
In an 800-page report, commissioned by Cardinal Woelki, into the handling of abuse cases in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne between 1975 and 2018, criminal lawyer Bjoern Gercke said he had found more than 200 abusers and more than 300 victims, mostly under the age of 14.
Cardinal Woelki suspended Auxiliary Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp after the report was published. The report had cited eight cases of violation of duty during the bishop’s period as Vicar General of the Archdiocese.
However, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne will take a six months’ “spiritual sabbatical” while Bishop Ansgar Puff will resume his duties immediately.
Pope Francis also rejected the resignation of the three prelates.
Pope Francis, “has decided not to accept their resignation from office. In the case of both bishops, there are isolated deficiencies in the handling of procedures,” but “not an intention to cover up abuse or ignore those affected,” reads the statement.