Church altar re-consecrated after couple had intercourse on it

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The altar of a church in Upper Bavaria has been re-consecrated after a couple had sex on it.

The altar in the Catholic church in Schechen in the district of Rosenheim had been cleared for the Catholic rite and the local priest had then blessed it again with incense and holy water during a liturgy of the word.

The blessing had already taken place before Christmas, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising told dpa.

The case made headlines in 2023: the couple, who had sex in the church and documented it, had to answer in the courts.

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The woman involved had since accepted the corresponding penalty order against her.

The trial scheduled for the beginning of February will therefore not take place, the Rosenheim district court announced.

The amount of the sentence was not disclosed because summary penalty order proceedings are generally not made public.

Her partner will have to stand trial at Traunstein District Court because he is also charged with other serious offences.

The trial against him is continuing and is scheduled to resume at the end of January.

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The Rosenheim-born man, who according to the court did not comment on the numerous accusations against him at the start of the trial, is accused of various offences.

They include “insulting, mischief” in a “place dedicated to the worship of a religious community.”

He is also charged with assault, deprivation of liberty, threatening behaviour and fraud.

It is very rare for an altar to have to be re-consecrated after a so-called desecration for example due to vandalism according to a survey conducted by dpa among the Catholic dioceses in Bavaria at the end of 2023.

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In the diocese of Augsburg, this has happened four times in recent years, according to a spokesman. None of the other dioceses reported any known cases.

In the Augsburg diocese, this was the case in 2017 in Vöhringen and Bellenberg. There, the church rooms, including the altar and statues, were extensively graffitied – including with anti-Christian slogans.

Another case reportedly took place in Gersthofen in 2018. Consecrated wafers were stolen and scattered.

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