Message to the Schoenstatt Family
We are committed to a thorough historical examination
Written by: Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio
Dear Schoenstatt Family,
These are difficult times for all of us. In an article on katholisch.de the previous accusations against our founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, are presented and documented in more detail. These include excerpts from a book written by Alexandra von Teuffenbach. This accumulation of accusations is shocking and confusing.
All the testimonies – whether positive or accusatory – were processed in the “Causa Kentenich” (i.e. in the beatification process) and known only to the persons responsible. This means for the present case that the connections were examined and determined for further thorough study by the responsible Vatican authority. They were thus evaluated in their significance and taken seriously. According to the normal practice in beatification proceedings, this process did not take place in public. No one is authorized to bring testimonies from a beatification process into the public eye, as is unfortunately the case here. Many of the documents cited in the book belong to the confidential files of the beatification process.
For this reason, the recent publications are new and shocking for all the communities of the Schoenstatt Movement. All of us are confronted with the question of whether or not the accusations are true. These accusations contradict our very positive experiences with the person and the message of Father Kentenich. They contradict our own experiences, precisely in areas that are so important for Father Kentenich and for Schoenstatt: Freedom, human dignity, especially of women, healthy natural and religious bonds, to name but a few.
The collection of documents presented is not sufficient to determine the truth. To find the truth requires thorough research and includes more than an accumulation of accusations and defenses. It requires time, competence, and diligence. We are committed to face the challenge of such a thorough and responsible historical examination.
We are not afraid of the truth. We are interested in everything coming to light. This was always Father Kentenich’s fundamental desire. Like him, we are confident that the truth will prevail in spite of everything and that the Blessed Mother will guide us today as she has always done in the past.
Schoenstatt, October 30, 2020
Father Juan Pablo Catoggio
General Presidium of the Schoenstatt Movement