Accused priest resigns from Vatican's doctrinal congregation
ROME — One of the department heads at the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has resigned from his post, days after an NCR report noted he had been accused of soliciting a woman for sex in the confessional.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced Jan. 29 that Fr. Hermann Geissler, formerly the head of the office's doctrinal section, had stepped down the day before in order to "limit the damage already done" to his employer.
The statement from the Vatican office also confirmed that Geissler's case is being examined formally, stating the priest "affirms that the accusation made against him is untrue, and asks that the canonical process already initiated continue."
The claim against Geissler was brought forward publicly two months ago by Doris Wagner, a German who recalled being approached by the priest during confession in 2009 at a Nov. 27 Rome event focused on giving voice to women survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
NCR reported the accusation Jan. 21, following Geissler's listing by the Vatican Jan. 18 as a member of the doctrinal office taking part in an international meeting of Asian bishops' conference offici...