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Priest talks of the power of love as he leaves the job

An Austrian priest shocked his congregation after announcing during Sunday mass at Hausleiten in Korneuburg, Austria, that he was stepping down after falling in love.

Locals said that many of them realised that priest Peter Janousek had a lover but the sudden decision to step down was a shock. They said he was a popular and active priest and only recently the community celebrated the restoration of the priests residence in the village.

On the home page of the local church the priest wrote simply: "Auf Wiedersehen and thank you."

Church spokesman Michael Prüller said they had been surprised by the decision but they respected it as it was not possible for a priest to be celibate and married.

A temporary priest will take over until Christmas when a new priest will be appointed to the job.

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