Another document incriminates Cardinal Woelki of Cologne

Did the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki, tell the truth or not during a questioning in court? WDR has a previously unknown letter that heavily incriminates Woelki in the matter.

In his questioning in court, Woelki had testified under oath that at the time of the questioning in March of this year, he knew nothing about the accusations that a young man had made against a priest he had promoted years earlier.

Cardinal Woelki had been sworn in after his questioning and had said: "I swear, so help me God." Many who were present in the courtroom still have doubts about this statement today. Especially because Woelki had signed a four-page letter to the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican in November 2018, which appeared to be personal.

In point five of the letter, the young man's accusations against the priest were described in detail. Woelki had recently announced via his press office that he had signed the letter but had not read it or could not remember the details.

Letter to the Vatican

Now WDR has received another letter, also from November 2018. It is signed by Günter Assenmacher, the then official of the Cologne archdiocese. The core sentence of the letter reads: "... as agreed, I have compiled a dossier, which the Cardinal has sent on its way today with an accompanying letter via the Nunciature to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the request for further instruction."

According to Assenmacher, the cardinal personally initiated the letter and was thus actively involved in the process. This would call into question his statement that he merely signed the letter.

Personnel file of the promoted priest

The letter, which according to WDR information is also in the possession of the Cologne public prosecutor's office, is apparently the extract from the personnel file of the priest in question. It gives insights into the archdiocese's practice in dealing with priests who have approached young people.

One column also deals with the "allegations against the cleric". A case from 2001 is listed, in which the priest had met with a teenage prostitute at Cologne's main railway station.



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