Showing posts with label Heiligenkreuz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heiligenkreuz. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Austrian Priest From CDF Cleared of Accusations of Sexual Harrassment

Acquittal for P. Hermann Geißler (The Work).

(Rome) A senatorial tribunal of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome pronounced Fr. Hermann Geissler of the spiritual family The Work free of all charges. A former member of The Work accused him of molesting her in 2009.

The Tyrolean Hermann Geissler completed his priestly education in the Collegium Rudolphinum in Heiligenkreuz, which was founded by Bishop Rudolf Graber of Regensburg. In 1988, Geissler joined the spiritual family Das Werk based in Bregenz. In 1991 he received his doctorate at the Pontifical Lateran University and was ordained the same year. After a time in parish ministry, he was appointed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where from 2009 he was head of the teaching section.

At the end of January 2019, he asked the Congregation for his laicisation. By doing so, he wanted to be able to keep the Congregation safe from damage and so he could better defend against the allegations made against him. At the same time he urged the continuation of the legal proceedings against him to clarify the matter.

A judge's senate of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura exhonerated him with a decision of May 15. The judges did not believe the plaintiff and cleared Geissler.

The plaintiff, a former member of the religious family The Work, had a brief sexual relationship with a co-brother in 2008. In 2009, she had sexually harassed Father Geissler, also a brother. In 2011 she left the community "by mutual agreement.” However, she then began a campaign and filed a complaint against the two religious.

Numerous media reported about her as a “victim of abuse,” also internationally. Her "case,” despite not being fact checked, was the subject of feminist documentary films that were broadcast as an indictment on public service television (BR). Herder Verlag published a book about her "case". In the autumn of 2018, the television station Arte broadcast the documentation of God’s abused servants, in which her “case" was also broadly treated. Ready supporters
can always be found in the fight against the Church and especially "conservative" religious communities.

After leaving the Order, it became known that she is married to another priest and has a child with him. The priest was suspended on it a divinis.

Kathpedia writes about the plaintiff that she is "campaigning against the Church and consecrated congregations." The judges may have seen it this way as well.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: The factory FSO
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Austrian Cistercians Restore Monastery in Brandenburg

The Cistercian monks entered the Brandenburg monastery on Monday - the celebration of the Latin liturgy of the hours and the daily Mass has begun - VIDEOS

Neuzelle ( The monastery Neuzelle in Brandenburg has been resettled. The first four Cistercian monks from the Heiligenkreuz monastery moved in on Monday. They will live first in the Catholic parsonage on the abbey grounds. Görlitz Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt greeted the religious and said in a speech: "A monk is there to remember God." About 100 people had gathered to greet the new arrivals, children gave flowers to the monks. The four religious men have already begun the regular celebration of the liturgy of the hour. Mass in Latin language.

The Heiligenkreuz Abbot Maximilian Heim had given the four "pioneers" the blessing for the journey and the beginning of the resettlement project. Father Simeon will be prior to the small community, Father Kilian will take care of the economic concerns of the monastery and do pastoral work, Father Philemon will be employed as a teacher in the local schools, and Father Aloysius will provide for the household and sacristy. The Heiligenkreuz penitentiary writes in a press release: "For us, it is difficult to let four confreres move, but at the same time it is a joy and a hopeful sign, which in our time a monastery is re-populated and a spiritual center is revived. If everything goes well, more monks will be sent to Neuzelle in the coming months, and - according to God's will - the "Priory Neuzelle" will be solemnly and officially erected in September 2018."

The monastery was founded by the Cistercians in the 13th century and secularized in 1817 and is now owned by the state of Brandenburg. The monastery complex is considered to be the northernmost example of South German and Bohemian baroque in Europe; it is largely preserved. The former convent church had remained catholic in an environment which had turned to Protestantism. 

Trans: Tancred


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Growth in Cistercian Stift Heiligenkreuz: "That is a Record!"

Theology professor Father Karl Wallner: "As I entered, we were 42, now we are 91 - last when we were so many was 700 years ago." - Also record number of Novices 

Heiligenkreuz ( There is a record number of members in the Convention of the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna: "As I entered, we were 42, now we are 91 - last when we were so many was 700 years ago" This was Father Karl Wallner OCist on Facebook. The theology professor Wallner is Rector of the College of Philosophy and Theology of Benedict XVI. in Heiligenkreuz. Last Friday, 8 young men were vested in our Stift Heiligenkreuz as novices. This is a record," he also wrote. He had been "truly moved" for the vesting of the novices, because he "has long known" all the new friars. In the short term the Heiligenkreuz Cistercian order had even 13 novices (see photo), since the last year's entries, they will be putting their first temporary profession in a few days.

Wallner explained further: "The 1-year novitiate is a trial period, you can also come back, that's okay! Of the 6 vested last year, 5 have remained. Let us pray that the young people mature and grow and serve God and men with all our strength."

The homepage of the monastery of Heiligenkreuz also speaks of a "record vestitures" because although we have many vocations and always a lot of new entrants, but we have never had 8 before..." There was further reported:" In the chapter house, Lord Abbot emphasized during his address that this is a time of testing: The novices examine themselves, they are tested by the Community and they consider themselves the Community ... Then he vested the 8 "newcomers" ("novices") in the white religious habit, which he blessed beforehand. At the end, the 8 novices knelt before the Lord Abbot and received the blessing."

In addition, Brother Konrad Ludwig made his perpetual profession on the Solemnity of the Assumption of which a beautiful video conveys the impressions. The young monk was baptized as a child by the current Heiligenkreuz Abbot Maximilian in the name of "Maximilian". The following remark can be found on the website of the Cistercian abbey: "The ways of the Lord are unfathomable, His former baptizing priest is now his abbot!"

Father Konrad Ludwig im Stift Heiligenkreuz on 15/08/2015 Photo novices Stift Heiligenkreuz © Stift Heiligenkreuz

Monday, August 11, 2014

Austrian Priest: "I Am Ashamed Now For My Church!"

Father Karl Wallner criticized: "On the official Church websites in Austria, I find only condolences for the tragically deceased National President , who has stood diametrically opposed to much of what constitutes the Christian image of man"

Vienna (  Father Karl Wallner, Rector of the Philosophical-Theological College of  Benedict XVI.  Holy Cross [Heiligenkreuz] in Lower Austria, has criticized Austrian Church leaders because they had given unqualified and widespread praise of Barbara Prammer, the late National President. Wallner writes on Facebook: "On the official Church websites in Austria, I find only condolences for the tragically deceased National President, who has been diametrically opposite of MUCH that constitutes the Christian view of man. I am ashamed at the moment - maybe because I'm on vacation among the pagan Saxons - fearful for my Church !!! If we continue like this, it will soon disappear. "

Among other things, President of Caritas Landau,  both Linz bishops,  Scwarz  and Aichern and Catholic Women's Organization of Austria President Haas had expressed grief and appreciation for the deceased. So said the President of Caritas, Michael Landau, with Prammer, Austria loses an important voice for humanity and tolerance.  Linz Bishop Ludwig Schwarz recalled the productive cooperation with Prammer about the relief fund for victims of National Socialism, his predecessor Maximilian Aichern said he was "grateful for their human and democratic action" and the chairman of the Catholic Women's Movement (kfbö), Barbara Haas, praised Prammer as "an ally and advocate". 

"Barbara Prammer always had an open ear and was also a major supporter of Caritas in social issues and in questions of justice," said Landau. He mentioned the petition to implement the UN Children's Convention "Against injustice: children do not belong in jail," the work for people with disabilities, where they promoted the implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of disabled people, the parliamentary observance of World Refugee Day and support campaigns to reduce development aid. Prammer was for many years one of the leading pro-abortion politicians the SPÖ. In various discussions she has advocated repeatedly for comprehensive abortion services in Austria. For years she has called for public awareness campaigns in schools, free contraceptives or "prescriptions" of birth control pills.

 Photo Father Karl Wallner: (c) Diocese of St. Pölten

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Scandinavia: Growing Church and Ever More Seminarians

NB: innocent until otherwise proven. Flowers can indeed grow in inhosptable places and help can come unlooked from afar.

Vienna (  The Catholic Church in Scandinavia grows, and even the numbers of home grown priests climbs:  as reported by a communique from Stift Heiligenkreuz on the Spring convocation of the Northern Bishop Conference it reads, there are already 60 young men from the region, who are seminarians from Scandinavia studying for the priesthood.  Many of them are converts from the Lutheran National Church.

According to cautious estimates, there are at present in the seven Diocese of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and islands about 500,000 Catholics.  The number grows rapidly; the trend is counter to the rest of Europe.  The reasons for this are mobility, growing numbers of refugees, conversions as well as a large number of baptisms.

According to the communique the general convocation was held to approve the statutes for seminary rectors.  In the text, the Bishops also stressed their thanks to Benedict XVI. and blessings for the successor Francis.  The Northern Bishops Conference meets till Wednesday in the University of Heilegenkreuz.

Copyright 2013 Katholische Presseagentur, Wien, Österreich ( Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Image source...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

German Trappists Continue Traditional Restoration of Their Community

In 1963 Eberhard Vollberg was born in Frankfurt.  In December of 1986 he entered the Trappist Monastery of Mariawald.  He received the monastic name of Josef and studied theology and philosophy at the Austrian Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna.  In June of 2006, he was ordained a priest and in November of the same year selected to be Abbot by the abbey's chapter. Under his leadership Mariawald undertook the task, in connection with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum to use the traditional liturgical books.

Four years after this return to Tradition Paix Liturgique held an interview with Abbot Josef about this decision and its effect on the spiritual life of the Abbey.  The interview was in Brief 31 of the German edition of Pax Liturgique.

1) Could you say a few words about your Cloister, its history, its surroundings and its place in the Catholic world of Germany?

The Trappist Cloister of Mariawald is on the edge of the Eifel National Park, a distance of about 50 km south west of Cologne, a lonely place on the heights, surrounded by meadows and woods.  Its history began about the end of the 15th century with the growing interest in an miraculous painting, a Pieta.  In 1486 the Cistercians came here, in 1511 the Cloister church was consecrated.  The confusion of the French Revolution, just as much as the Kulturkampf and the Nazi-terror led to a gradualy dissolution and destruction, but the Mariawalder Cloister always restored itself like new.

Mariawald is the only Trappist Cloister in Germany.  The Trappists are monks of the renewal movement of the Cistercians in the 17th century, named after the Cloister of La Trappe.  The shortening of the order "OCSO" stands for Ordo Cisterciensium Strictoris Observantiae -- Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance.

In the Catholic wold of Germany Mariawald has lately taken a special place since the reform of 2008/09.  By a priviledge of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI., the Abbey looked to the books of the liturgy in the Rite according to the books which were in use by the Cistercians in 1963.  Mariawald is following the Holy Father's wish when he was Prefect and since then, to protect against the amnesia toward the spiritual roots and the everywhere encroaching self-destruction of the heritage of a more than 1,500 year old tradition.  The way of Mariawald  is so far understood as service to the sanctity of the Church and Christians in the world.

The reaction of the Catholic public corresponds to farflung circles not to the will of the Holy Father;  all too often the reform is dismissed as reactionary and therefore rejected.  On the other side Mariawald is also accompanied by joyful agreement and gratitude, as among others to those faithful who come to the Sunday High Mass and shown by the significant inquiries after guest retreats.  Also mentionable is also the tolerance and respect of certain friendly neighboring relationships of various communities, some of which have honored  and revered the holy image of Mariawald --- a relationship which is unfortunately the exception up until now.

2)  Could you explain your motivations, to address the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of 2008 and choose the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite for you Cloister?  How as the situation before?  Has your community suffered in the post-Conciliar crisis?

Fruits following on the Second Vatican Council  were not recognizable:  The Community had became significantly smaller.  Between 1965 and 2011 there were many departures and among the vocations, older men and only two vocations of younger, who proved their worth.  For that reason there was the desire, in stead of the anthorpocentric tendencies of the new orientation, to turn again to put God back in the center.  Just like a tree, which can only live from the power of its roots, so may the monk -- and not only him! -- fill in the wisdom of hundreds of years as a treasure, of himself and the Church again with youthful power.

It is still noticed that the Liturgy Mariawald is not completely identical with the Roman Rite, but has some particularities in its calendar, in the Liturgy of the Holy Mass and especially in the Office.

3) How has the choice changed your religious life?  What are the practical alterations in the Breviary, the Prayers of the Office, the Music education and Liturgical celebration and the Mass service?

The reform has made the spiritual lives of the monks more remarkable and strenuous.  The new "old" Liturgy has to be learned; the singing of Gregorian chant is an art, which requires special schooling; the care of the Latin as the required language of cultus requires eagerness to learn and industry; the prayers of the Breviary is a demand of more time, and the beginning of the hours at night at 3am really needs a preparedness to self denial.  All of the effort finds its own reward  in the experience of the threatened loss of wealth.

The altar service must also be learned, the visitors to the liturgy also must learn. The Latin liturgy versus deum instead of versus populum offers another and truly also deeper way of participatio actuosa.  Similarly, Communion on the tongue leads to the possibility of a conscious awe.  By the way, the Holy Father gives Holy Communion on the tongue according to the Novus Ordo -- and gives an example of his desired "Reform of the Reform".

4) What is the impact this has had on the lives of your community? On the relationship between the monks, on the spiritual life?

Forty years with the reformed liturgy has made a reorientation of course difficult, especially for the older brothers. Initial tensions have subsided, however, the situation has calmed down. The opening for the unabridged tradition, the intensification of the spiritual life, as we fervently hope, has born fruit, not least because of new vocations. This impatience is misplaced. To speak with the image of a friend of the monastery: The Company of the reform of Mariawald is like trying to turn an ocean liner traveling at full speed by 180 °. Both will not succeed immediately. Also Mariawald needs time - and the prayer of many.

5) What  stock can you take from this choice from today's perspective? You have shown an effect on vocations? How many monks have you today, how many were there in 2008?

If you're ask for an appraisal of this decision: I'd do it again - despite a number of  and somtimes subtle difficulties.

There were and are many candidates for admission to Mariawald, since the reform there have been about 40 to 50. But with the specific requirements of the strict rule almost all will leave. This reflects the general social phenomenon of our times. The escape from a lifelong relationship is reflected, too, in all the unmarried people cohabitating and the growing number of divorces. The inability to commit has probably burdened all orders and is not specific to our reform path.

In 2008 twelve monks were part of the convent, and of them, two have died in the meantime. Today, there are thus ten, including a brother who has recently taken perpetual vows - they're still showing the willingness to bond - and a newly recorded novice. Later this year, a postulant will be included, and there are two or three others seriously interested. Not to mention there are three external monks belonging to the monastery to Mariawald.

6) Do you get visited by priests from dioceses and other religious communities, who have the desire to discover the extraordinary form or to learn it?

Inquiries from priests to learn the celebration of the Usus Antiquior from us, are still coming, however, at first they were more common. With its limited manpower Mariawald can not afford this training.

7) It is obvious that at parish level, the "Reform of the Reform" of Benedict XVI, who wants to encourage more kneeling Communion, Gregorian Kyriale, Eucharistic Prayer in Latin, celebration to the East, altar crucifix, etc., is spreading slowly. Do you observe a Motu Proprio effect in your Trappist community?

A positive response to the request of the Holy Father, to bring tradition in the Novus Ordo is not visible. Rather, there is, as it seems a rigid denial and continued discrimination against the Holy Father and a clear disregard of such statements as the Council for Liturgy. Obedience and humility don't seem to be ideals.

In our monastic community, to respond briefly to your last question, in the course of the reform efforts, there is, if not an unconditional love of all tradition, acceptance has still grown. They really do love them, wanting no longer to do without them.

Link to source...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cistercian Abbot Says the Right Things, Does the Wrong Ones

Two sided witness of a Cistercian

On the one side, he says things that are true and important.  But why has he made a homo-lobbyist as Theology Professor in the College run by the Monastery?

( Abbot Gregor Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck (68) ears that Europe is quickly on the way to abolishing itself.

In the twentieth century there won't be any Europeans "in our sense" left.

The Abbot was born in Breslau.  From February he has led the Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz in Vienna. 

He was interviewed by the opposition Berlin weekly 'Junge Freiheit'.

Theory and Praxis

Abbot Henkkel von Donnersmarck spoke spontaneously without notes before for the newspaper:

"The Europeans, as we know them, have almost destroyed themselves by suicide and namely from destabilizing marriage and the family as well as contraction, murder of unborn persons and the offering of equal status for sterile and non-reproductive relationships".

And: "Discrimination doesn't just mean that the same is made to be unequal, rather
by the same token, that one unequal is portrayed as equal" -- the clergyman said.

It is for him a fact that marriage is seriously discriminated against, when one takes its partnerships, which would not correspond to their characters, to make them similar or equal.

With this expression the Abbot had his mouth mightily full.

For it was during his time as Grand Chancellor, he has engaged the a homosexual lobbyist and neo-Conservative politician, Andreas Schnider as the professor of religious education and catechetics.

He sees no loophole

Abbot Henckel of Donnersmarck criticized that most Europeans view freedom and wealth as the end point of development.

From that resulted a lack of desire for the future:

"Sooner or later the realization and the understanding will come that it is not the Church which stands in the void, but rather we ourselves."

A way out from the worldly, dictatorial relativism which is dominant throughout Europe and which is actually identified as the danger of our time, the Abbot can foresee no way out.

Actually he has the hope that Christendom allegedly worldwide, is caught "in an upswing".

Link to the original,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Habbemus Abbatem -- Heiligenkreuz Elects New Abbot P. Maximilian Heim

Editor: mentioned earlier because of the large number of vocations literally storming the place.

What is perhaps the most famous Monastery in the German speaking world has a new Abbot, P. Maximilian Heim, Professor for Fundamental Theology and member of the increasing Schülerkreis von Joseph Ratzinger.

P. Maximilian Heim is the new Abbot of Abbey Heiligenkreuz as has learned. Heim is the Professor for Fundamental Theology at the Phil.-Theol University of Benedict XVI. Heiligenkreuz and also a member of the Schülerkreis von Joseph Ratzinger.

P. Maximilian was born in Kronach [Bavaria] in 1961. He completed his degree in theology at Augsburg and in Abbey Heiligenkreuz. There he entered the Monastery in 1983. In 1988 he was delegated in the founding of a new Monastery in the Ruhr region. In 1996 he was called back to Heiligenkreuz and took over the office of Master of Novices and Cantors.

In 1998 to 2002 he concluded his Doctorate with Bernhard Korner at the Institute for Moral Theology and Dogmatics at the University of Graz, and in 2004 presented the dissertation theme on the Theology and Teaching of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at the University of Holy Cross in Vienna. 2007 saw his following appointment as the full Professor of Fundmantal Theology and Dogmatics [Ecclesiology] in the Phil-Theol institute of Benedict XVI in Holy Cross. In September of 2004 he was made the prior in the recently established [1989] Priory of Stiepel in Bochum. In 2009 P. Maximilian was invited to participate in the growing Schülerkreis von Joseph Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI. On 10. February 2011, he was chosen as the new Abbot of Heiligenkreuz. With the selection of the new Abbot, the approved Catholic course is assured for the coming years.

Link to

Video of leading a youth pilgrimage to Bocum, here. It's in German, but there are a lot of pictures.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Storming Heiligenkreuz: Austrian Monastery's Vocations Explode

88 Monks, average age 47: "It is above all the Liturgy and the Gregorian Choir as well as our loyalty to the Pope and the Church's teachings", said P Karl Wallner.

Vienna ( Press) IN the Cistercian Monastery of Heiligenkreuz in the Vienna Wood, the number of Monks has risen to 88, which means a doubling in the last year, and the highest manpower in its almost 900 year history. The average age of the Monks is 47 years.

"Such a wave of young people who want to participate in our life hasn't happened since the Middle Ages,' exclaimed P. Karl Wallner, Professor of Dogmatics at the Order's Academy and Youth Pastor.

As to the secret of how there are so many admissions, he says: "It is above all the Liturgy in the Gregorian Chorale according to the norms of Vatican II as well as our loyalty to the Pope and Church teaching."

In the last week, Abbot Henckel Donnersmark clothed seven young men in the Novitiate, six novices have taken temporary vows, while five novices are working for that, seven Monks have decided to take "solemn vows" and four Monks were elevated by Auxiliary Bishop Lackner to the Diaconate.

A "divesture" is required for the members of Heilgenkreuz in any case, to sell everything: their previous Prior, Christian Feuerstein, was elevated to Abbot of Monastery Rein in Steryia where he took up his office on the 21st of August.

"It is interesting, that all entrants have made their first contact with us through the Internet. Some have visited the website of the Cloister repeatedly till they found the courage just to visit the Cloister for the first time in their lives."

"Usque ad mortem"

Upon the Feast of the Assumption, the Patronal Feast of Heilgenkreuz, seven young Monks, who had already taken temporary vows, now take their celebratory Profession, that is an eternal vow "usque ad mortem", to the death"

P Joahnnes Paul Chavanne and P Mag. Tobias Westerthaler are both Vienese, P Bacc.phil. Edmund Waldstein is from Lower Austria, P. Mag. Damian Lienhart and P.Dipl.Ing. Emmanuel Heissenberger are Steyrians and P.Dipl.Kfm. Dr. oec. Lic theol. Justinus Pech as well as P.Mag. Placidus Beilicke come from Germany.

They come from various professional backgrounds, and are, however, just over 20. One is a microbiologist, another in International Business Relations and Economics and a Hydrological Engineer. Most of them have at least gleaned the book "Chant -- Life for Paradise". At their profession there were 120 Priests and Religious as well as over 700 faithful and family members, who filled the monastic environs for the accompanying Agape feast.