Thursday, July 7, 2011

Criminal allegations against Cardinal Schönborn

From Catholic Church Conservation, a translation of an article at

Strafanzeige gegen Kardinal Schönborn |

Criminal allegations have been made against Cardinal Christoph Schönborn by a 45-year-old to the Vienna public prosecutor. "Failure to prevent a crime" is the accusation.

It states that after informing the then Auxiliary Bishop in 1994 of a sexual assault, that Schönborn did not react for ten years. During World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II in Rome she had been abused as a 17-year-old by a Franciscan priest from Tyrol in his apartment, other incidents occurring in 1985 and 1997. The accused has now confessed to the ombudsman of the Diocese of Innsbruck. He was suspended from duty as a school counselor.

The Klasnic Commission had promised therapy to the 45-year-old as "recognized victims" in March 2011 and envisaged her financial compensation. The claim was not reimbursed because they had the impression that "this is not desired by the abused parties." The woman has now made allegations of sexual assault against the director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Leo Maasburg . He rejects the allegations- the Klasnic Commission wants to examine the case.

The 45-year-old asked Christoph Schönborn in 1994 to contact Maasburg and take up the matter with him. A spokesman for the Cardinal rejected this yesterday. It had been merely a confession in which no serious allegations were never discussed.

And from Austrian Independent:

Schönborn failed to act, abuse victim claims

The highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria has been accused of keeping quiet about a case of sexual abuse.

A lawyer said yesterday (Mon) he will launch legal action against Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn. The advocate’s client explained she consulted Schönborn in 1994 to tell him of sexual abuse by a priest. The woman, 45, said Schönborn – who was auxiliary bishop of Vienna at that time – failed to act despite her plea for help.

A spokesman for Schönborn – who was given chances to succeed late Pope John Paul II before German Josef Ratzinger was elected new Pope in 2005 – vehemently denied the claims. He explained Schönborn would have certainly taken action had he considered the accusations as severe. He described the meeting between Schönborn and the allegedly molested woman as a confessional conversation.

The spokesman also said that the so-called Klasnic commission financed therapy sessions for the woman. The commission headed by former Styrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Governor Waltraud Klasnic was established by Schönborn last year. The cardinal, who is regarded as a more liberal representative of the Church than some other Austrian bishops, hoped that people who became victims of clergymen’s sexual, physical and psychological abuse would get in touch with the panel to negotiate compensation payments...

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