Local Priest Accused of Misconduct in Germany

Reverend allegedly had inappropriate relationships with women

By Adrienne Welsch
|  Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 AM EDT
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Local Priest Accused of Misconduct in Germany

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A priest in the Archdiocese of Washington has been removed from his duties after allegations of past misconduct.

The German Bishops’ Conference told the Archdiocese on Tuesday that Father Michael Shapfel allegedly had inappropriate relationships in the past with young women in Germany.  The allegations date back to the 1980s and early 1990s.  There have been no allegations stemming from his work in the United States.

Shapfel served as chaplain of the 75-family German Pastoral Mission of Washington, D.C., from 2004 until earlier this month.  The German Bishops’ Conference wrote a letter to the people of the pastoral mission, and will send a representative to meet with them.  The Archdiocese of Washington also is offering pastoral care to the community.

Shapfel held several positions in Germany, including an assignment with the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests.

Anyone with any knowledge of inappropriate conduct by a member of the clergy or an employee or volunteer is asked to contact local authorities and the archdiocesan director of child protection services at 301-853-5328.

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