Showing posts with label Klosterneuburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Klosterneuburg. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Aberrosexual Bishop Sent to Austrian Monastery to Clean Up

Klosterneuburg has been waiting for the election of a new provost and abbot for two years. 
In between, a papal delegate managed the cloister and was charged with investigating allegations of sexual abuse and cover-ups. There are now doubts that the investigation really went properly on all points.

(Vienna) The Canadian news site LifeSiteNews raises serious allegations of homosexuality related to the investigations into sexual abuse in the Augustinian monastery in Klosterneuburg near Vienna. The allegations by Maike Hickson and editor-in-chief John Henry Westen concern how the monastery management dealt with the allegations of abuse, but also the Roman investigation of the same. Today 41 canons live in Klosterneuburg, which was founded in 1114. The Augustinian monastery is one of the richest monasteries in the world.

The allegations of abuse concern two former members of the house, one dismissed and the other deceased. The allegations of cover-up, however, concern the former provost of the monastery and the Roman delegate.

In 2017, reports of sexual abuse at the cloister had surfaced, sparking a major media frenzy. The monastery reacted confidently and seemed to be able to clear up all the allegations. But was that really the case? LifeSiteNews has since cast doubt on the account.

The Veix case

The allegations concerned Canon W. Veix, who in 1993 had put a 13-year-old altar boy under the influence of alcohol and sexually abused him. The abbey reacted immediately: WV was asked to leave the order. He agreed and left the monastery within six days. A canonical expulsion procedure would have taken a longer period of time. Rome was asked to dispense the vows and informed of the serious incident. "Until he left the cloister, which must be done by order from Rome, the monastery was obliged by canon law to support him and removed him from the monastery to an apartment in Vienna. This responsibility ended when he left in 1994,” the monastery announced in a 2017 a public press release.

The matter becomes controversial from this moment on. WV was ordained a priest in the Romanian diocese of Oradea (Oradea) in 1996 and then became active again in the German-speaking regions. Among other things, he received a parish in the Federal Republic of Germany, where he molested an even younger victim, which ultimately led to his laicization.

At the time of the incident in Klosterneuburg, Canon Bernhard Backovsky was master of novices. In 1995 he was elected the 66th provost and 17th Lateran abbot of the monastery. It was a post he held until 2020. From 2002 to 2017 Propst Backovsky was also Abbot General of the Austrian Congregation and from 2010 to 2016 Abbot Primate of the International Confederation of Augustinian Canons.

In 2017, the spokesman for the monastery publicly announced:

“The monastery knew nothing of his ordination by the bishop of Oradea. We were not contacted either. It should be noted that the novice master at the time and today's general abbot, provost Bernhard Backovsky, made no effort whatsoever to enable Mr. Veix to be ordained a priest in any way. If the Diocese of Oradea had asked Klosterneuburg Abbey, Mr. Veix would never have been ordained a priest. Neither the diocese of Basel nor the diocese of Würzburg made an inquiry in the monastery regarding Veix. Since the monastery knew just as little about this priestly ordination as it did about his employment in Basel and Würzburg, the monastery had no opportunity to warn the dioceses of Basel and Würzburg."

 WV reported the monastery to the ecclesiastical authority in Rome, which is the Congregation of Religious. At the request of the boy's mother, the boy's mother waived a complaint before secular jurisdiction "so as not to further incriminate her child and to prevent the abuse from becoming public knowledge. However, it should definitely be ensured that Mr. Veix is removed from the monastery, which was done within 6 days with all the consequences of canon law.”

LifeSiteNews accuses Provost Backovsky of having witnesses who testified that he actually helped WV get ordained a priest in Romania. The suspicion soon arose that VW could not have succeeded in being admitted to priestly ordination so quickly without support. If so, Backovsky would have been complicit if WV, endowed with the office and reputation of a priest, was able to abuse other boys. But why should the provost have done that? An eyewitness, according to LifeSiteNews, testified that WV once boasted to him that he had "Backovsky and his brother in his pocket". And he added that Provost Backovsky was "my reinsurance".

The Rohrig case

The second case weighs more heavily. It concerns the Canon P. Floridus Röhrig, who died in 2014 and was a church historian professor at the University of Vienna and one of the most prominent members of the abbey. As such, he has received numerous honors. "As a person and as a priest, however, he seems to have lived a very different life," according to LifeSiteNews. The Canadian news site was able to speak to one of his victims, PR [a pseudonym as the victim wishes to remain anonymous], who, aged just 13, had been “repeatedly subjected to the most severe sexual abuse. He and his older brother both stated that Dr. Floridus," according to LifeSiteNews.

The former novice of the monastery and today's pastor in Hamburg, Michael Imlau, became the key witness against P. Floridus Röhrig and Provost Backovsky. He himself became a victim of the progressive members of the cloister, as he says himself, and in order not to endanger their influence in the house, he was removed from the monastery.

Michael Imlau revealed in 2019 that Röhrig had a reputation for being "Lower Austria's biggest child molester" in the cloister. He himself, he told LifeSiteNews, had witnessed evening tales from Röhrig as he was drunk recounting "his strange adventures in London" - and Röhrig was often drunk in the evenings. An older canon, who wanted to protect others from Röhrig, yelled at him one day in front of other canons that he should stay away from a young canon: "You bastard, keep your disgusting hands off X!" The young man did not know what the invitation was Röhrigs to accompany him would entail. According to Imlau. None of the canons present would have defended Röhrig. According to Imlau, they were silent.

As a spiritual assistant, Röhrig was responsible for scouts in the region and, according to Imlau, regularly took the boys with him on “cultural trips”. Both PR and his brother testified that Rohrig took them to nudist beaches where he took pictures of the boys naked. According to Imlau, the drunk Röhrig once showed two of his confreres some of these photos.

According to Imlau, Provost Backovsky remained inactive in the Röhrig case, which is why he was able to continue his activities and die as a member of the community.

The Roman Inquiry

The incidents that became known prompted the Roman Congregation of Religious to send papal delegate to Klosterneuburg, who took over the management of the cloister after the resignation of Provost Backovsky for health reasons and had the task of investigating the cases of sexual abuse and possible misconduct by Provost Backovsky in dealing with the allegationsThere was an accusation of cover-up. The investigation was recently completed. Was it really? LifeSiteNews also expresses doubts about this.

Whether Provost Backovsky resigned voluntarily in May 2020 remains to be seen. He had headed the monastery for 25 years. In the summer of that year, however, the house was visited by the Vatican, which resulted in the appointment of a papal delegate. From this it becomes clear that there were things that needed to be dealt with.

In November 2020, the Vatican appointed Bishop Josef Clemens, former secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, as papal delegate for the monastery. He would be in charge of the investigation. To do this, he in turn commissioned an external expert.

What did the investigations of the papal delegate reveal? 

He established sexual misconduct by members and former members of the monastery and failures in preventing or subsequently processing cases of abuse on the part of the monastery management at the time. Therefore, the emeritus provost Bernhard Backovsky was given a canonical monitio ( admonition). The reasons for this admonition remained vaguely formulated. The identified “deficiencies” were not named. Nor was it said whether Rohrig was guilty. Rather, the old abbot was given space to apologize for his behavior.

Msgr. Clemens also stated that "the investigation, as recommended by the Holy See, is closed" and it is now important "to look to the future and to make a new beginning". Former provost Backovsky was ordered to stay away from the monastery "for a reasonable time" as a punishment. However, according to LifeSiteNews, he may already have returned to the cloister.

an incident

In November 2021 there was an incident that called into question the work of the papal delegate. On the feast of St. Leopold, the founder of the monastery, he quoted in the sermon from a scientific work about the Austrian Margrave Leopold III. the saint of the late Canon Röhrig, whose misconduct he had to investigate. He not only quoted Röhrig in the footnotes but also mentioned him by name in his sermon.

The waves grew rough and still haven't calmed down. Victims and their defenders saw themselves betrayed. You spoke of a "provocation" that opened up new wounds. Ironically, the "child molester no. 1 of the monastery", according to Johannes Heibel from a victim support association, was honored. How was Bishop Clemens able to put a perpetrator in the foreground?

Life SiteNews interviewed the bishop and now former papal delegate. Until the election of the 67th Provost and 18th Lateran Abbot, provost Maximilian Fürnsinn of Herzogenburg Abbey will be the administrator of Klosterneuburg Abbey.

Questioned by LifeSiteNews, Bishop Clemens admitted a lack of sensitivity, which he would have been better off avoiding. However, he defended his actions by quoting from a scientific work that was to be seen independently of the author's person. Proper citation and the corresponding reference are academic standards. Röhrig was only mentioned directly because Clemens used his translation of a Latin quotation. In no way can a justification for Röhrig's misconduct be read from this.

LifeSiteNews also asked Bischofs Clemens if Röhrig was found guilty, but received no real answer. The bishop referred to the procedure used.

Wasn't transparency part of the mission of the papal delegate? This impression was reinforced for LifeSiteNews when it learned on May 15 from Rev. Michael Imlau that he and another priest had met with Msgr. Clemens to lament the non-hearing of two key witnesses. However, the papal delegate declared the case closed. [Haughtily and legalistically]

The bishop made it clear to Pastor Imlau that at the time there was silence on the Röhrig case "to avert damage to the Church". That is legitimate, but today it is seen as an own goal since the Church urgently needs to deal with the sexual scandals, which according to the Polish professor and priest Dariusz Oko are above all the problem of a "homo-heresy".

Bishop Clemens indicated twice that now the suspicion of Pastor Imlau and Johannes Heibel is directed against himself that he had participated in a cover-up. "By not fully informing the public, he fits seamlessly into the ranks of the cover-up," Heibel is quoted as saying to LifeSiteNews.

Papal delegate under criticism

LifeSiteNews goes further, questioning Bishop Clement's appointment as papal delegate a speaking of a "controversial personal history." Clemens, a priest of the Bishop of Paderborn, received his doctorate in moral theology in 1983. He then served for twenty years as personal secretary to Joseph Ratzinger, then Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the FaithIn 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him, apparently at the suggestion of Cardinal Ratzinger, undersecretary of the Congregation of Religious, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and titular bishop of Segermes. Cardinal Ratzinger consecrated him as a bishop on January 6, 2004 in St. Peter's Basilica.

As Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the US, revealed to LifeSite, the usual Vatican scrutiny before appointment as a bishop raised strong suspicions that Clement was an active homosexual. Because of his duties at the time, he himself was involved in this review.
According to Archbishop Viganò, it was the then Apostolic Nuncio in the Federal Republic of Germany, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who informed him of these "strong suspicions" in an official capacity. According to Viganò, Cardinal Ratzinger was then warned against Clemens' homosexuality. He nevertheless supported the bishop's appointment of his former secretary.

Viganò's assessment of a possible appointment of Clemens as a bishop was therefore "negative". Clemens was nevertheless appointed and ordained bishop. In the past, when he became Pope Francis' prosecutor in connection with former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in the USA, the former Apostolic Nuncio had spoken of homosexual cliques in the church that would cover each other and ensure promotions.

LifeSiteNews also notes that, according to a "reliable source," Cardinal Ratzinger approached then-Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner of Cologne to see if he would accept Clemens into his diocese. The exact context of this statement is unclear, since neither the time is mentioned nor is it said whether this request was intended instead of an appointment as a bishop or whether Clemens was to be chosen auxiliary bishop of Cologne.

According to LifeSiteNews, however, the answer from Cologne given by Cardinal Meisner is certain: "I can confirm," according to the anonymous source, "that Cardinal Meisner told us that he refused Ratzinger's request to accept Clemens in Cologne, namely with the words: 'No, because of homosexuality'. He [Meisner] also wanted to offer Clemens therapy, which he refused.”

LifeSiteNews also cites another source, this time Roman: "The fact that Josef Clemens was and is an active homosexual is well known among us here in Rome."

According to Archbishop Viganò, "there was quite a dispute between Gänswein and Clemens" when Cardinal Ratzinger elected today's Archbishop Georg Gänswein as his new secretary.

LifeSiteNews confronted Bishop Clemens with the statements, which he categorically rejected. Claims that he is a practicing homosexual are "an untruth". He has no knowledge of Archbishop Viganò's claims and his appeal to Cardinal Lajolo: 

"With these clear and unequivocal answers, I consider the matter closed."

Inquiries from LifeSiteNews to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Vatican Press Office and Cardinal Lajolo, now 87, went unanswered.

LifeSiteNews isn't very happy with the whole thing. They insinuate that the Vatican may have deliberately appointed a papal delegate who is himself "strongly suspected" of being an active homosexual, and concludes the report by saying:

“Is this how the Vatican is dealing with the plight of victims of sexual abuse in Klosterneuburg following assurances from Pope Francis that sexual abuse and the cover-up of sexual abuse are now being handled differently?”


Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image : Wikicommons

Trans: Tancred


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Christendom and "Leitkultur"

Klosterneuburg Abbey near Vienna looks back on 900 years of tradition. Its huge dome bears the imperial crown with the cross.
By Wolfram Schrems
Sometimes there is discussion about what constitutes Europe and what it is based on. The discussion then comes to the "influence" of Christianity, to the "three hills" Golgotha, Acropolis and Capitol and to the "Leitkultur." But all of that is idle. We would simply not exist as peoples and as individuals without the work of the Catholic Church.
A few basic thoughts on this topic from an Austrian perspective:
During the land grabbing by so-called “refugees” in autumn 2015, I spoke to a Hungarian diplomat about the role of Christianity in the development of the peoples of Europe. I hypothesized that without Christianity the Hungarians would have remained a primitive and predatory nomadic people. The answer of my interlocutor surprised me, but in retrospect it turns out to be smarter than my only half-thought. He said: Without Christianity, there would be no Hungarians at all, they would have disappeared from history.
Obviously, the historically conscious Hungarian had recognized something that underpins the radar of today's everyday consciousness. However, nowadays there is not only a certain sluggishness in perceiving (and pronouncing) natural things but also a kind of censorship:
The question of how Christianity is the "foundation" of Austria and Europe is sometimes raised. However, the discussion is not very knowledgeable. This is also the case because even Church leaders refuse to use the expression "Christian West" and prevent any meaningful discussion, at least in the area of ​​the Church. Therefore, if you actually come to this question among Catholics with a contemporary spirit, you will encounter mute ignorance.

The orb
The orb, the world dominated by the cross of Christ
The thesis of this essay is based on the diplomat's conviction: Without the motivating power of the Catholic faith, there would be no European civilization, and consequently no European peoples. There would not be "us" as individuals because our ancestors would not have been created. There would not be "us" as a nation because without faith there would not have been sufficient cohesion and self-assertion.
Because Catholics, and especially monasticism, which is a more intensive realization of the faith, created the structures on which our culture and our existence as European peoples are based, amid immense sacrifices. We still draw on what is left. Catholic Christianity is thus not only a “contribution” to European civilization among others, but also the reason for it and the actual foundation.
So to the individual points to support this thesis:

Monasteries as structure-building centers

The existence of the monasteries in this country has become so self-evident to many that they stop thinking about their origin and meaning. At most, some people come across their “wealth”. But there is no further thought here: the monasteries are "rich" because generations of monks have labored without pay and have accomplished enormous work to feed and afford modest accomodation for the poor. These range from pioneering activities such as clearing and building, to agriculture, to welfare, science, medicine, fine arts and music. The monastery school and hospital are Catholic inventions. They are an answer to Christ's judgment speech, the main sentence of which is: What you do to the least of my brothers, you did to me.
After all, the knights of the monks contained Islamic aggression for several centuries and made the development of Christian Europe possible in the first place.
Another fact is considered by many too little:

Work as a source of added value

The Benedictine Ora et Labora made the call to work culture-defining. If you don't want to work, you shouldn't eat, as the Apostle Paul says, and: The thief should no longer steal, but work and earn something with his hands so that he can give it to the needy.
This access to work has created solid and lasting economic structures, including welfare work (poor relief). This approach differs from an economy that is based on usury, begging, extortion or caravan robbery and therefore neither produces anything nor creates jobs nor cares for the needy, on the contrary, it produces them.
As is well known, Greek and Roman paganism despised physical labor and therefore kept slaves. Islam also has this attitude. But Christianity strives to sanctify work, even the “low” work, and itself through work. The Benedictine rule prescribes physical work and nobody has to be too good for it.
Under early medieval conditions, this can be understood as a social upheaval towards the positive.
There is something else associated with permanent work:

Stabilitas loci: prerequisite for stability

Benedictine monasticism usually implies (usually) lifelong ties to a particular monastery. It differs from the missionary work of the Anglo-Saxon and Irish traveling monks and from the mendicant orders founded in the 13th century. We also owe a lot to both groups in Europe. The focus here should be this: The stabilitas loci was a haven and anchoring during the time of the migration of the peoples. It was an alternative lifestyle - and of course it is also at a time that “migration” celebrates as a value in itself.
Beyond the life of the individual monk, the monasteries achieved tremendous temporal continuities. This fact is also little anchored in the collective consciousness: Even relatively short-lived monasteries, e.g. those that fell victim to the Josephine monastery storm [When Freemason Emperor, Joseph II looted the monasteries and "put everyone to work"] in this country, worked over a period of time that affected all current political continuities, far outshines the existence of the Republic, the EU, and the USA among other things. The Gaming Charterhouse may serve as an example, having only run as a monastery for over four hundred years. That is more than five times as long as the existence of the second Austrian republic.
Incidentally, in the 14th century, the building was so solid that all of the parts of the former monastery are still usable in Gaming - only to illustrate the contrast to the "modern" design. (And because we are talking about the continuities: When Gaming was founded, the Benedictine monastery Kremsmünster had already stood about six hundred years, but one normally does not think about it and it is not subject to the opinion published in the [!].. Fake news media. )
The continuity and reliability of the monasteries therefore contributed as crystallization points to the formation of cultural and political continuities.
This is related to the following:

Education: theology and tradition of ancient culture

The monasteries were and are places of education. The complete Benedictine imperative is yes: Ora et labora et legeAny accusation of “hostility to science” against the Catholic faith is absurd given the facts. Theology also holds the building of science together as the keystone, illuminates the naturally recognizable reality with supernatural light and prevents science-drivers from misusing their knowledge, as does a Promethean, even satanic alchemy and magic.
Within this framework, science was able to develop in the service of human needs. Just think of the life-saving monastic medicine. 
For our question about the foundation of European culture, it is also important to see that the best of ancient wisdom about the monasteries has come to us. According to the Catholic faith, everything true, good and beautiful has a part in the eternal Logos and comes from it. The Gospel of John says that "in the beginning", in principio , ie "in principle", was the Logos, the word, the meaning, the understanding, not the absurd.
References to logos can be found in ancient thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. Based on its own traders, ancient philosophy, which de facto hardly shaped the political life and culture of their contemporaries, would have disappeared without a trace. One must not believe that a Plato has met with great interest on a social scale. The circle of the academy was too small. Plato was unsuccessful politically. His dialogues would have been lost. But it was the monks who copied the testimonies of ancient wisdom and therefore preserved them and made them fruitful for Christian philosophy and theology, and thus for the development of culture.
It is therefore obvious that Athens and Rome, i.e. the Acropolis and the Capitol, the two “hills” next to Golgotha ​​(after a dictum by the German Federal President Theodor Heuss), have shaped Europe only because the Church has the best of them, Philosophy and jurisprudence. The three hills are not "equal", if you want to put it that way, because they are not equally effective in history.
Ancient thinkers, state theorists and lawyers then found their place within the framework of the revealed faith. Of course, this does not reach that of the bearer of the express revelation, so it is not a scripture, but it must not be despised either.


The motivation of the monk, like any other Catholic, is not to provide cultural achievements as an end in itself, but to give glory to God and to attain eternal life. This can only be reached via a steep and narrow path. The above-mentioned tangible and intangible assets were then created through indirect profitability. The instruction of the Sermon on the Mount came true on a large scale: First look for the Kingdom of God, everything else will be added to you. This allowed a true “culture” to emerge from colere : cultivate, maintain, refine, cultivate and worship the true God. The villages and towns grew around the churches and monasteries. What held the communities together was the common belief.
At the same time, the peoples gained their profile. As is well known in the missio of Christ, he says: Make all nations my disciples. Not only the individuals, but the peoples as a whole should implement the teaching of Christ. This practically made the Church the inventor of “ethnopluralism”, if you put it that way. Obviously, the uniform Latin liturgical and scientific language was no obstacle to the development of the national peculiarities within Christianity. Thus, Germans, French, English, Poles, Croats, Hungarians and all others were united to Christian peoples, in the Church under the Roman Pope and through the Latin language in an uncomplicated understanding.
The content of the Catholic faith proved to be plausible in its action, the moral regulations as beneficial, the central imperative of love for God and neighbor as liberating. Faith opened meaning and peace of conscience and let its confessors come to terms with it. The horror of paganism with its idols and human sacrifices disappeared.
Paradisiacal conditions were neither attained nor sought because the Church faith precludes any conception of such conditions on earth. The alleged “consolation” to the hereafter has proven to be a real consolation for the people of the Migration Period and the “Middle Ages” and has led to the aforementioned cultural achievements.
It is therefore irrelevant whether the present thoughts may be perceived as "romantic" or "idealizing": we are there as individuals and as a nation only because of this and can only look back on 1500 years of Catholic culture in our homeland because our ancestors were creators of life-promoting and community-building structures. We are there because countless of our ancestors have received medical help in Catholic hospitals and orphanages and have therefore been able to stay alive longer and start a family. Circumstances, as they were, led to the generation of our ancestors, from whom we descended.
We should always be aware of this.
If the Church had not gained a foothold in Europe, Europe would have remained a meaningless Eurasian peninsula. No peoples would have developed that were worthy of historiography. A conglomerate of descendants from ever-invading and massacre pagan hordes could not have enabled national continuity, cultural and human development.
So the Hungarian diplomat was right.
At a time when churches and monasteries are often little more than empty shells due to the apostasy of hierarchies and devotees, the destruction of faith will also entail the destruction of the cultures and peoples that have arisen from it. In Fatima it was said that peoples who do not convert will disappear from the face of the earth. Well, as you can see, it doesn't require atomic bombs.
Text: MMag. Wolfram Schrems, Vienna
  • (This essay is the revised version of an article that first appeared in the Attersee Report , the publication of the Attersee Circle within the Freedom Party of Austria , No. 21, 2019, p. 14. It is a pleasant surprise that it appears in the FPÖ gives those responsible who are at least interested in Catholic positions and who always offer a platform to an articulating author of this kind. WS)
Trans: Tancred