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Apostolic Movement

“Free and transparent research” needed

Heinrich Brehm

In an interview  with, Bishop Ackermann elaborated on his decision in the Causa Kentenich, which was announced in a press release of the diocese on May 3. In the interview, the text of which is published at, he explained his decision with unresolved questions and allegations of abuse against Father Kentenich, which in his estimation cannot be resolved within the process of beatification.

Ackermann went on to make clear that there have been no investigations so far by the experts he commissioned last year. “Up until now, I have been talking to experts from various disciplines, looking for ways of proceeding correctly in this situation,” the Trier bishop said. He concluded that there is a need for “free and transparent research,” which cannot take place within the framework of a process led and commissioned by him. The discussions of the past two years, as well as newly available documents, showed “that we have not yet exhausted what there is to know about the life, work and spirituality of Father Kentenich.” Much more research needs to be done here, he said. For example, on various questions, “individual studies from various disciplines, whose findings can then be compiled.” The bishop does not consider the accusations against the person of Father Kentenich to be invalidated at this time, which is why he cannot continue the beatification process.

In its statement on the bishop’s decision, the General Presidium of the International Schoenstatt Work states that it shares Ackermann’s concern for transparent and free research in all questions about Father Kentenich and emphasizes: “Where up to now restraint and discretion were required out of consideration for the ongoing beatification process, questions and findings can now be treated and communicated with the necessary openness.” Further research into the contexts could help to understand Schoenstatt’s founder even better, also as a personality who, aware of his mission for the Church, provoked and could endure opposition.

In the interview with, Bishop Ackermann made it clear in conclusion that with the suspension of the process, the diocese will not continue to be active in the cause. “Of course, I will follow with interest whether there will be an independent, interdisciplinary research on the person of Kentenich and what it produces. I myself will not participate in it.” At the same time, he emphasized “that the suspension of the process of beatification is not a negative judgement on the worldwide work of all those who are involved in the various groups and institutes of the Schoenstatt Movement.”

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