Berlin: New sexual abuse allegations surfaced on Wednesday against a priest in Pope Benedict XVI`s former diocese, while the German government established an expert panel in response to a spate of cases.
The Munich archdiocese said there are allegations dating back to 1998 against a priest who has a previous conviction and already has been suspended.
The case was passed on to prosecutors as the statute of limitations has not expired, it said. The Munich prosecutors` office confirmed it is looking into the case but would say no more.
The priest, Peter Hullermann, was transferred from the northwestern city of Essen to Munich in 1980 to undergo therapy while then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the pontiff, was archbishop.
The diocese has said Ratzinger wasn`t involved in a decision to allow Hullermann return to pastoral work and didn`t know of his later work in congregations where he continued to deal with youngsters.
Hullermann was convicted of sexual abuse in 1986, well after Ratzinger left for Rome. Hullermann continued to work in different congregations until he was suspended ten days ago.
An alleged victim came forward with credible new claims yesterday, diocese spokesman Bernhard Kellner said.