Details of Schoenstatt founder abuse and coercion allegations emerge

Catholic News Agency

November 5, 2020

A Church historian has published some details regarding the allegations of abuse made against Fr. Josef Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt ecclesial movement. The movement has rejected claims that its founder engaged in sexual abuse, while in July a German bishop announced that a commission would review the priest’s beatification process.

Historian Alexandra von Teuffenbach has published the first of two volumes in a history of the Schoenstatt movement and allegations that Kentenich, who is being considered for beatification, manipulated and coerced community members into sexually inappropriate conduct.

The first volume focuses on the life of Sister Giorgia Wagner, a member of the community who died in 1987. Wagner was assigned to ministry in Chile during her time in the community.

“When Fr. Kentenich visited Chile after the Second World War, in 1947, he abused her and deposed her as provincial superior,” von Teuffenbach wrote in a letter to Vatican analyst Sandro Magister, which Magister published Nov. 2.

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