Skip to comments.Cover-up in the Austrian scandal
Posted on 07/21/2004 10:23:54 AM PDT by AskStPhilomena
The homosexual scandal in the Austrian seminary of Sankt Pölten is the breaking news. Let me put some order into the different accounts that are coming from everywhere.
The source: A seminary insider, a priest, took many pictures of homosexual acts among seminarians, and also between priests and seminarians. One of these photos was of the vice-rector of the establishment, Fr. Wolgang Rothe, kissing a seminarian on the mouth. These pictures that began to circulate early this month caused some priests to request an investigation of the seminary by civil prosecutors (Deutsche Welle, online, July 13, 2004; Iafrica, online, July 13, 2004).
New evidence: The civil authorities inspected the seminarys computers and found thousands of pornographic pictures of pedophilia and bestiality, as well as numerous immoral videos (News24.com, July 11, 2004). Two different estimates of the number of images have been given: Profil affirmed that 40,000 pictures were found; Fr. Martin Walchhofer, director of Austrian seminaries, stated there were 11,000 discovered (Osterreich.ORF.at, online, July 20, 2004).
The report: Based on these data, an article was published in the Austrian weekly magazine Profil (July 12-17, 2004). Among other accusations, Profil affirmed that both the rector and vice-rector of the seminary, respectively Fr. Ulrich Kechl and Fr. Wolfgang Rothe, had homosexual relations with seminarians and would use the pedophile pictures as a stimulus for such activities (Iafrica, ibid.). The report stated that there were frequent homosexual orgies in the seminary as well (The Guardian, online, July 13, 2004).
The aftermath: Profil reported that the rector of the seminary had resigned some days before the scandal broke and that the vice-rector would soon do the same. The conservative Bishop of Sankt Pölten, Kurt Krenn, 68, gave an interview to Austrian TV (ORF) and made light of the situation, commenting that the picture showing Rothe kissing a seminarian had "absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality," and was merely a childish prank (Deutsche Welle, ibid.; Shenzehen Daily, online, July 16, 2004). Krenn acknowledged his responsibility over the seminary, but alleged ignorance about homosexuality in its environs. He established a six-member committee to investigate the accusations (Shenzehen Daily, ibid.).
The Austrian Bishops' Conference issued a vague statement declaring that "homosexuality and pornography" could have no place at a seminary (The Guardian, ibid.). Facing an outburst of public indignation, a spokesman of the Vienna Archdiocese, Helmut Schüller, declared that only if Bishop Krenn stepped down "would an extensive investigation be possible" (Shenzehen Daily, ibid.). Speaking on local television, Fr. Martin Walchhofer, director of the countrys seminaries, also blamed Bishop Krenn as the one ultimately responsible for the seminary (The Guardian, ibid.).
So, the only healing measure suggested so far seems to be a general demand for Bishop Krenn to resign. I agree that the Prelate should step down, because he seems to have been an accomplice to such constant practice of sins against nature. But, what is curious to me is that no one is talking about other very elementary data that would involve higher authorities in the scandal.
The forgotten data: The first forgotten fact is that Austria is a very small country with only 8 million population, just around 6 million of them Catholic. There are only two Archdioceses in the country, Vienna, whose Archbishop is a Cardinal, and Salzburg. All the Dioceses together, including the two Archdioceses, add up to nine. All total that is fewer than what comprises the Archdiocese of San Antonio in Texas, which has 15 Dioceses, or the Archdiocese of San Francisco with its 10 Dioceses, or the St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese, also with 10 Dioceses.
Given its size and situation, the Dioceses in Austria are closely linked and dependant on each other. However, in all the news reports on this scandal that I have read coming from England to China, from Turkey to Argentina, I havent seen any mention of the small size of the Austrian Catholic Church. On the contrary, I have read grandiose comparisons between the Austrian and the American Episcopates and seen several references to the powerful Austrian Church. Such comments seem fallacious, they project an idea of an huge Austrian Church with very independent Bishops. Corresponding to this picture, one receives the impression that Bishop Krenn would be solely responsible for the seminary scandal. Were he to step down or be retired, the isolated problem would be over.
But in Austria things are different. Everything in the countrys Catholic Church is small, highly linked, and dependent on its one single Cardinal with jurisdiction, i.e., Cardinal Christoph von Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna. Moreover, the Diocese of Sankt Pölten, the epicenter of the storm, is located very near Vienna (50 miles) and officially is subordinate to the Vienna Archdiocese. That is to say, it relies on Cardinal Schönborn for almost everything.
It seems to me that the general omission of these data in the many reports on the scandal is not a coincidence. Rather, it obeys a plan, it seems part of a new cover-up. To blame Bishop Kurt Krenn exclusively, as has been done, is to cover up for Cardinal Schönborn, relieving him of any guilt. It is my opinion that the Cardinal, as well as Bishop Krenn, had the grave duty to know exactly what was going on in Sankt Pöltens seminary. Only 50 miles from Vienna and subordinate to him, this important seminary should be under Schönborns close watch. This is especially so since Cardinal Schönborn was chosen as head of the Vienna Archdiocese precisely to carry out a healing function. He was supposed to undo the evil done to Catholics by Cardinal Hans Hermann Gröer, who was the center of another scandal of clergy pedophilia/homosexuality in 1995. All the more reason for Schönborn to be vigilant against these vices.
So far, it looks like a plan has been set in motion in the Sankt Pölten seminary scandal that would burn Bishop Krenn alone in order to save Schönborn. Yes, the papabile Schönborn, the favorite of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to succeed John Paul II
The second set of data that has been almost overlooked is that Bishop Kurt Krenn is a close friend of John Paul II. In 1991 his appointment was imposed on Austrian Catholics as the personal choice of JPII. Further, in 1998, the Pope visited the Diocese of Sankt Pölten to visit Krenn and his good friend Cardinal Gröer, who had retired in a monastery there.
One can see that these facts would make it highly convenient for the progressivist agenda to burn only Bishop Krenn, and to prevent eyes from looking higher
At any rate, one thing the scandal shows the reader is that homosexual mafias in seminaries is not just an American phenomenon.
Very bizarre story.
So much for Cardinal Schonborn.
btw, I mentioned before, this seminary is beyond redemption or purification. It should be burned to the ground.
"It should be burned to the ground."
...and the embers covered in holy water.
Your comments remind me of the good old days in the Church, when there were only 2 words for obstinate heretics-"burn 'em!".
Nowadays, there's dialogue ad nauseam - and then eventually the Church changes the rules to accommodate novelty and error.
More about "dialogue" and its fruits...
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