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German priest Christof May found dead in suspected suicide after misconduct claims

Published June 10,2022
The head of the seminary in the German Catholic diocese of Limburg, Christof May, has been found dead in a suspected suicide shortly after being suspended over misconduct allegations, the diocese and police said Friday.

The diocese confirmed the news without giving details of the circumstances of the cleric's death or details about the alleged misconduct.

Police said that an investigation into the death had been launched, and that evidence pointed towards a suicide.

The priest had been summoned by Bishop Georg Bätzing on Wednesday in connection with the allegations and was temporarily released from his duties. One day later, he was discovered dead.

"The events have shocked us in the diocese of Limburg and far beyond," the diocese said. "The death has hit us very hard, caused dismay and bewilderment and leaves us with many questions."

The diocese expressed its condolences to the family of the priest, but added that "at the same time, our thoughts are also with those who reported the allegations."

The priest from the Westerwald region has held office within the diocese for many years. He has headed its seminary since 2018.