Vatican, September 13, 2004 ( – Bishop Kurt Krenn of the scandal-ridden Sankt Poelten diocese in Austria has been asked to resign, informed Vatican sources have indicated.  Bishop Krenn’s resignation “is not official,” an informed source said; but an announcement is expected soon.  Austrian press reports have indicated that Bishop Krenn has considered resignation for some time, even before the eruption of the scandal that engulfed his Sankt Poelten diocese this summer, when a police investigation uncovered a homosexual network in the diocesan seminary. Although he is only 68 years old—7 years short of ordinary retirement age—Bishop Krenn’s health is poor.  The bishop’s acknowledged physical infirmity would allow the Holy See to avoid a clear statement about the reason for his resignation.

On July 20, Pope John Paul opened an apostolic visitation of the Austrian diocese, under the direction of Bishop Klaus Kung of the Feldkirch, Austria diocese. Bishop Kung quickly asked for an end to all public statements by Church officials in the Sankt Poelten diocese, including Bishop Krenn.

Bishop Krenn would be the second Austrian prelate forced to resign because of scandal in recent years. Cardinal Hans Groer was forced to resign as Archbishop of Vienna in 1998 amid allegations of sexual improprieties with young men.  See Previous reports:  Opus Dei Bishop Sent by Vatican to Austria to Investigate Homosexual Seminary Scandals Pope’s Special Investigator Closes Austrian Seminary Embroiled in Homosexual Photo Scandal