Cannabis in the Cathedral German Church Officer Arrested on Drug Dealing Charges

Church officials in eastern Germany are shocked at the arrest of a cathedral sexton on drug dealing charges. He had a stash of heroine and cannabis in the cathedral's boiler room.

St Stephen's Catherdral in Halberstadt -- not the sort of place you'd normally expect to find drugs.

St Stephen's Catherdral in Halberstadt -- not the sort of place you'd normally expect to find drugs.

The sexton of a cathedral in Germany has been arrested on suspicion of dealing in drugs ad keeping a stash of heroin and cannabis in his church, police said.

The 47-year-old man was in charge of maintenance of the Protestant St Stephen's Cathedral in the eastern city of Halberstadt. Police said they had found 27 grams of heroin and three kilos of cannabis in a wall safe of the cathedral's boiler room.

The church has suspended the man, who had worked there for 18 years. "I'm shocked," the bishop of Saxony Axel Noack said, according to the news agency DPA. "Not just because a house of God has been misused. What weighs even more heavily is that a full-time member of staff of our church is evidently caught up in a scene in which people's suffering is accepted in the pursuit of personal profit."

The superintendent of the Halberstadt parish, Christoph Hackbeil, said: "The case makes me really angry given the church's activities in trying to prevent drug abuse. Now the church is involved too, not just the police and the courts. We have to ask ourselves how this abuse was allowed to happen."

In a separate church-related drugs incident, British customs officers seized cocaine worth $30,400 concealed in a parcel that contained a number of religious artefacts including a statue of the Virgin Mary, a Bible and a rosary.

The cocaine was hidden in a badge adorned with a picture of the Last Supper. The drugs were found in a routine check on a parcel sent from Brazil and destined for an address in London.



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