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Monday, May 30, 2011

Cardinal accused from beyond the grave by journalist

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Politik von Innen: Affäre Groer - Schönborn gesteht frühen Verdacht | kurier.at

Cardinal Schönborn confirmed for the first time that early on he was aware of the sexual abuse of pupils by Hans Hermann Groer.

It was a case that rocked the Catholic Church and continues to resonate even today: The sexual abuse of pupils by Hans Hermann Cardinal Groer , revealed at a time when the suspect was wearing the cardinal's hat. On 27 March 1995, profil published the story of Groer's victim, Joseph Hartman. The first reaction of the church to the profil article came from the then Auxiliary Bishops Helmut Kraetzl and Christoph Schoenborn and stated: Such a smear campaign against priests has not been seen since the Nazi era.

On Wednesday, Falter published a transcript of a tape, as it were, a literary inheritance of the then- profil -editor Hubertus Czernin . It is a long conversation with Czernin about the Groer affair, which was conducted in 2001 and is to be published as an e-book to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Czernin.

In the interview, Czernin discussed his concern about the comparison of the profil coverage with the Nazi terror. He had tried to reach Schönborn, who he knew in private life. Czernin, "It was then weeks later that in a discussion at my home, where he put it to me that he (Schoenborn) at that time knew that what we have written, of course, was completely correct."

Cardinal Schönborn confirmed for the first time following a COURIER request that he very early increasingly had a reasonable suspicion . "At the time of the profil article, I was surprised. I took it for a smear campaign and thus chose strong words. In the weeks that followed, I learned that the probability was high that the allegations had a foundation", Schönborn commented in response. At the time of the interview with Czernin, he had "no assurance" indeed, as Czernin proposes, but the "suspicion that the allegations could be true."

One consequence of this suspicion was that Schönborn's spokesperson stated that Schönborn on 15 May 1995 publicly apologized for the Nazi comparison.

The "moral certainty" that the allegations against Groer "substantially true", Schönborn and the other bishops only stated for the first time in 1998, three years later.
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