Dirty tricks in Linz prior to Wagner resignation

KATH.NET - Katholischer Nachrichtendienst

Exclusive: Windischgarsten parish priest Wagner defends himself against malicious rumour, which apparently played an important role in the not-so-voluntary resignation - Rome is involved – Presently no statement from Bishop Schwarz (www.kath.net)

The Windischgarsten parish priest Gerhard Maria Wagner defends himself against a malicious rumour which was disseminated about his episcopal appointment from specifically ecclesiastical circles of the Diocese of Linz.

A few hours before Wagner announced that he was to ask the Pope to withdraw his nomination, he was confronted by the LinzBishop Ludwig Schwarz with an until now not proven story,that Wagner had a few years ago given money to a woman (the name is known kath.net ) to obtain an abortion.

The Bishop of Linz told him of the allegation at a meeting, Wagner said a few days ago to KATH.NET. This had so taken him back that he subsequently was prepared to ask the Pope to withdraw his nomination. However, this was not in any sense an admission of guilt, Wagner was clear.

He was so disappointed by the Bishop of Linz, the parish priest of Windischgarsten said openly. The rumour apparently had been fed to the bishop of Linz cathedral chapter. Who handed the letter over to the cathedral chapter, is as yet unclear

"The whole thing is a pack of lies," he stressed. "It is simply incredible, especially because I have always helped women and children!" The Windischgarsten priest is well known in his parish for always supporting people in emergency situations has.

The rumour was, however, circulating for days in ecclesiastical circles of the Diocese of Linz. Even Bishop Schwarz spoke in recent days of "serious allegations" against Wagner as KATH.NET experienced. The Bishop of Linz, however, until now has not even reviewed the allegations. Schwarz did not even tell him of the name of the woman nor gave him a copy of the letter, criticized Wagner.

He will take legal action against those who have placed the matter in the public domain emphasized the Windischgarsten parish priest. Meanwhile, one wave of rumour has followed another: Journalists have been informed, as has an influential political party in Upper Austria, information which party officials used for their own purposes.

From well-informed Church circles, there was a threat to disseminate the rumour a few days before the planned consecration of Bishop Wagner on 22 March via some Upper Austrian media.

There is not yet an official opinion from the Bishop of Linz, which already was confronted by kath.net. The fact is that the affair has reached the ears of Rome and there is already a congregation involved in the matter.