CNA Staff, Jul 1, 2020 / 18:00 pm
A German historian says that recently opened Vatican archives include documents that suggest the German founder of the Schoenstatt ecclesial movement engaged in manipulative and coercive behavior among the sisters of the movement. But the Schoenstatt community says those allegations have long since been addressed.
According to German Catholic newspaper Die Tagepost, theologian and Church historian Alexandra von Teuffenbach has reviewed Vatican assessments of the Schoenstatt movement, which reportedly portray Fr. Josef Kentenich, founder of the movement, as manipulative and coercive.
The Holy See reportedly began to receive reports from alleged victims of the priest in the early 1950s, and dispatched an apostolic visitator, or Vatican observer, to assess the situation. According to von Teuffenbach, Kentenich was sent to the United States after that visitation, but no reforms of the community were subsequently enacted.
“The church under Pius XII protected the abused woman and the Mary Sisters, who at that time, instead of obeying the official instructions of the church, preferred to follow a questionable figure, as clearly described in the files," Von Teuffenbach wrote.