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Priests in Sweden join the ranks of paedophiles

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Priests in Sweden join the ranks of paedophiles
Bishop Anders Arborelius in an April 2010 file photo
09:10 CET+01:00
The Catholic Church of Sweden confirms three priests are believed to have sexually abused children over the span of 30 years.

It is reported that the paedophile priests, one of whom is dead, sexually abused a collective of five children between 1940 and 1970, thus falling under that statute of limitation.

Stockholm Bishop Anders Arborelius said Saturday there could "be no redemption" for the three.

One priest molested two boys, another abused a girl for four years before she complained.

The third priest molested two girls, who were sisters, while in a relationship with their mother.

The information was gathered and confirmed during an internal investigation, according to a press release from the Catholic Church.

One of the three priests has died, another is no longer a priest and the third could not be identified, the Church said.

The former priest, who is alive, denies "in essence" what’s written in the investigative report.

The church dismissed a fourth accusation of rape during ritual practices with multiple offenders, claiming the complaint was unreasonable.

"For the fourth priest, the accusations could not be corroborated by the investigation," said the report, adding that investigators had been unable to speak to the alleged victim.

Sweden’s small Catholic Church opened a probe in April last year into allegations that four priests had committed paedophile acts.

A Church report dated February 25 and put online on Saturday said that the responsibility of the three had been confirmed.

"To molest a minor is a heinous crime which causes a lifetime of suffering. For me there is no statute of limitations for child abuse," said Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm Catholic Diocese, in a statement.

"The Catholic Church can never make amends to the victims, but we want this investigation to give the victims the restitution they deserve," he added.

As the crimes took place between 1940 and 1970 they can no longer be prosecuted and the Church was not planning to take any further legal action.

The Roman Catholic Church numbers about 100,000 members in a population of more than nine million who are predominantly Lutheran.

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