Despite legal action against her book about Schoenstatt founder Father Joseph Kentenich, author Alexandra von Teuffenbach stands by the contents of the publication.
On Sunday, she accused the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary of wanting to ban "legally published sources" of a scientific work.
She sees in it a desperate attempt to continue to "sweep the truth about the founder under the carpet," the church historian working in Rome told the Catholic News Agency (KNA). This overlooks the "severe suffering" suffered by the fellow sisters at the time.
Von Teuffenbach accuses Father Kentenich (1885-1968), who is still popular today, of systematic manipulation, abuse of power and sexual assault. She relies, among other things, on newly accessible Vatican documents from the time of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. (1939-1958). Their accusations she has in the book "father may the!" published. In it, several Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary describe a questionable leadership style of the founding father, as well as unacceptable confessional practices and physical touching.
Interim injunction against publisher
The Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary has now taken legal action against von Teuffenbach and her publisher Traugott Bautz. This is according to a statement ied on Saturday. "We object to the prejudgement of Father Joseph Kentenich by this book," reads the letter signed by Superior General M. Aleja Slaughter and Director General Bernd Biberger signed letter.
The author and the publishing house had been asked to refrain from accusations, but had not complied with them. As a result, an application for an interim injunction had been filed so that statements "in the above sense" should be prohibited. No decision has yet been made on the application. On the "question of legal standing," she said, one must be considered entitled to "assert the post-mortem personality rights of Father Kentenich". The court called upon had signaled "that such a legitimation of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary could be considered," it says.
"Committed to historical truth"
Von Teuffenbach countered that her work would not be affected by it. "I have the material," she said. And the next book about Kentenich is already "quite normal" in preparation. They consider themselves "committed to the historical truth".
The Schoenstatt Movement, meanwhile, announced that it would support "all efforts that are being made for a historical reappraisal and clarification". This applies above all to the group of experts appointed by the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann. The diocese of Trier had announced on Friday that it was changing the procedure for investigating the allegations against Kentenich. Instead of a commission of historians, a group of experts is to examine the case. This offers "more possibilities" in terms of transparency because of other formal requirements.
A beatification process has been underway for Kentenich since 1975. It is known that Kentenich was sent into exile in the USA in 1951 after an investigation procedure by the Vatican and returned to Schoenstatt in 1965. However, these steps are evaluated differently.
The Schoenstatt Movement is a Catholic spiritual community which, according to its own information, has about 20 members nationwide.000 people feel they belong. It was founded in 1914 in Schoenstatt, a district of Vallendar near Koblenz. After the Second World War, the movement spread internationally.