Message from the General Presidency of the Schoenstatt Work
After the announcement by the Diocese of Trier of a new Historical Commission for the process of beatification of Father Kentenich, the General Presidium of the International Schoenstatt Work addresses the Schoenstatt Family throughout the world with a letter. The Presidium emphasizes that they want to “respond to the many justified questions, irritations, and demands for transparency. Some things have been held back “too long out of consideration and for the protection of persons and communities”, but God speaks through the events: “In faith in Providence we understand that we should learn new things. Through questions and criticism, God wants to help us advance, to let us grow”, said Father Juan Pablo Catoggio ISch, President of the Presidium. The letter in its entirety:
(Text by Heinrich Brehm)
Dear Schoenstatt Family throughout the world!
Yesterday, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier announced that he will appoint a new historical commission in the process of beatification for our father and founder, Father Joseph Kentenich. The task of these experts, the majority of whom do not belong to the Schoenstatt Movement, will be to collect and evaluate those documents in the Vatican Archives that have only recently been released for research.
This concerns the documents from Pope Pius XII’s term of office that relate to Father Kentenich and Schoenstatt. We very much welcome this decision of the Bishop, since in this way the clarification of the questions regarding the person and actions of Father Kentenich will continue to be done in collaboration with the Diocese of Trier and those responsible for the beatification process (Cf. press release)
We understand that the Schoenstatt Family throughout the world expects initiatives from us that respond to the many justified questions, confusions and demands for transparency. You rightly expect that the history of Father Kentenich, the history of Schoenstatt, and the history of the Sisters be more openly and transparently processed and communicated to the Schoenstatt Family. We recognize that we have held back for too long out of consideration and for the protection of persons and communities.
God speaks through events. In faith in Providence we understand that we have to learn new things. Through questions and criticism God wants to lead us forward and help us grow.
We are aware that at present statements and texts are published from many sources and shared in social networks. In this way you are searching for answers to the questions you have at the moment. This is understandable. It is important to us that the relevant texts of our founder or individual historical documents can be understood from their context. Leaders of the Movement in the local areas are trying to provide help in this regard. In addition, in the near future, coordinated by a small team, information and documentation material in various languages on the historical events will be continuously made available to you. This will be done through our official website www.schoenstatt.com. We will also take the necessary steps from our side to examine the material of the archives that are now accessible.
If you have any questions or suggestions, you are welcome to contact our International Coordination Office in Schoenstatt at firstname.lastname@example.org. As far as possible, we will be at your disposal.
We are convinced that this clarification process on various levels will bring the truth into full light and thus also allow for a more objective and comprehensive understanding of the person, way of acting and charism of Father Kentenich.
On the anniversary of the priestly ordination of our father, which we celebrate today, we unite with him and with one another in prayer precisely at this moment. In his footsteps we seek the truth in faithfulness.
Juan Pablo Catoggio
The General Presidium of the Schoenstatt Work
Schoenstatt, July 8, 2020