The Archdiocese of Cologne will not take any legal action against its employee Hildegard Dahm. This is reported by the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Monday). The head of department responsible for her in the Archbishop's General Vicariate informed her in a personal conversation on Friday about a corresponding decision by General Vicar Guido Assmann, Dahm told the newspaper. "I'm totally relieved," she said. The archdiocese's threat "of course didn't go unnoticed by me." She was not informed of the reasons for the result of the announced examination.
Criminal investigations are underway against Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne. According to the public prosecutor's office, the allegation of false affidavit is being investigated. If convicted, it carries a penalty of up to three years in prison or a fine. Woelki himself rejects all allegations as unjustified. The trigger for the investigation was an interview with Dahm, the former assistant to the head of human resources in the Archdiocese of Cologne. In it she said that Woelki had been informed earlier than he had testified about allegations of abuse against the former Sternsinger boss Winfried Pilz.
In the meantime, the Cologne public prosecutor's office is also investigating a second case on suspicion of false affidavit against Woelki. The reason for this was the testimony of a witness in a press law procedure before the Cologne district court.
In the Dahm case, the Archdiocese had initially announced that it would examine labor law steps against the employee: "Because she reported from the sensitive area of personnel management and used her position of trust for this. This is strictly prohibited and no employer can tolerate it."
The 66-year-old Woelki, who as Archbishop of Cologne heads the largest Catholic diocese in Germany, has been under pressure for years. Among other things, his handling of allegations of abuse is criticized.