Archives reveal abuse allegations against founder of Schonstatt movement

Veneration Beatification Schonstatt Lie

Title: Archives reveal abuse allegations against founder of Schonstatt movement

Author: Junno Arocho Esteves

Publisher: Catholic News Service (CNS)

Date: 02JUL2020

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Documents uncovered from the recently opened archives of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII revealed allegations of sexual abuse and abuse of power against the founder of the Schonstatt movement, Father Joseph Kentenich.

Reports of the apostolic visitation made in the early 1950s written by Dutch Jesuit Father Sebastiaan Tromp were made known by German scholar Alexandra von Teuffenbach July 2 after she wrote a letter regarding her discovery to German newspaper Die Tagespost and Italian journalist Sandro Magister.

Von Teuffenbach, a former professor of church history at Rome’s Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, said the testimonies, letters and conversations Father Tromp had with members of the Schonstatt Sisters of Mary, as well as Father Kentenich, revealed “a situation of complete subjugation of the nuns, concealed in a certain way by a sort of family structure applied to the work.”

“Kentenich was the ‘father,’ the founder with absolute power, often equated with God,” von Teuffenbach wrote to Magister. “So much so that in many expressions and prayers it is not clear whether these are addressed to God the Father or to the founder himself.”

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