Catholic priest denies rape allegations / News / The Foreigner

Catholic priest denies rape allegations. Claims alleged victim was like a son to him. A well-known Norwegian Catholic priest, and author, has been accused of the attempted rape of a student priest in 1994. He denies the allegations, saying he never gave the then 23-year-old any inappropriate physical affection, and has now resigned from the Church.Refutes allegations The priest has been avoiding any contact with the Norwegian media since Vårt Land printed the story on Saturday about his transfer from Oslo to France in 2005, on the grounds of allegedly having committed sexual assault.

kjell, arild, pollestad, reidar, voith, trondheim, bishop, catholic, church, sexual, abuse, scandal, bernt, eidsvig



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Catholic priest denies rape allegations

Published on Tuesday, 13th April, 2010 at 15:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 13th April 2010 at 15:48.

Claims alleged victim was like a son to him.

Church pews (Illustration photo)
Church pews (Illustration photo)
Photo: Rainer Ebert/Flickr


A well-known Norwegian Catholic priest, and author, has been accused of the attempted rape of a student priest in 1994. He denies the allegations, saying he never gave the then 23-year-old any inappropriate physical affection, and has now resigned from the Church.

Refutes allegations

The priest has been avoiding any contact with the Norwegian media since Vårt Land printed the story on Saturday about his transfer from Oslo to France in 2005, on the grounds of allegedly having committed sexual assault.

60-year-old Kjell Arild Pollestad has now confirmed to Stavanger Aftenblad that it was him they wrote about.

Pollestad allegedly carried out several assaults on a 23-year-old student priest in 1994, whilst serving as Vicar in the Catholic Church in Tønsberg between 1988 and 1996.

It’s believed the first incident took place in Høvringen Fjellstue (lodge) in Oppland. He fiercely denies the allegations.

“Reidar Voith was very fond of me, and was like a son. I never gave him any physical affection that an uncle wouldn’t have given to his niece or nephew,” Pollestad told Aftenbladet from the Benedictine Cloisters in Champagne in France yesterday.

But Vicar Voith maintains he was assaulted, and has previously told VG he was subjected to what he depicts as abuse of a violent and sexual nature twice in the ‘90s – once at the lodge, and again during a pilgrimage to Rome shortly afterwards.

“I’ve no comment to make regarding Father Pollestad’s claims regarding my person, integrity, or motive. The case was thoroughly handled by Oslo Catholic Diocese and the Congregation of Faith,” he informs Aftenbladet, commenting on Pollestad’s denials.

Fought him off

“It was an insane betrayal. Everything you thought another person represented was just a lie. I was a fruit that was to be ripened and plucked,” says Voith.

He makes further, serious accusations against Pollestad to Telemarksavisa.

“Perhaps I was naive. I thought we’d have single rooms but we were given a double. He threw himself over me, held me down, licked my face, and tried to get underneath the duvet. I managed to kick him off.”

Voith didn’t report what happened at the time to police, but to his superiors later on.

Resignation

Pollestad, for his part, says he’s now decided to step down as a priest, claiming he feels like the fox at an English foxhunt.

“The situation for a priest in the Catholic Church is now such that one is completely without legal rights when charges are set forth. There’s no future for me as a priest in an institution where a goodnight hug can be perceived as attempted rape.”

He delivered his resignation yesterday to the Bishop of Oslo and Trondheim, Bernt Eidsvig, 30 years to the day since he was inaugurated as a priest in the Catholic Church.




Published on Tuesday, 13th April, 2010 at 15:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 13th April 2010 at 15:48.

This post has the following tags: kjell, arild, pollestad, reidar, voith, trondheim, bishop, catholic, church, sexual, abuse, scandal, bernt, eidsvig.





  
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