Dr Gerhard Gruber
Retired Cathedral Dean
Apr 8 2010
Statement about the events in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising in connection with the acceptance of a pedophile priest 30 years ago
On March 12, the press office of our archdiocese released a statement on the above issue. It also contains my own statement, quoted verbatim.
We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.
The manner in which events were presented, above all the public accusation in another context that I “acted on my own authority” have given some of you the impression that I was not fairly treated.
I myself felt great resentment which I communicated to some of you. FM Walter Romahn and FM Klaus Wyrwoll wanted to confront that in their circulars of March 30 which you have received via email.
It sprang from a most sincere intention to support me, but had by no means been arranged with me.
I learned of the circular from one of the recipients.
Unfortunately the circular contains not only several inaccuracies but also some grave misrepresentations which may be due to the fact that Walter Romahn deeply misunderstood some things in our telephone conversation.
That is why I am pleading you to keep this circular strictly confidential, not to distribute or forward it and to be aware of the following:
I was never summoned to the archbishop`s office. I never had to sign a document which had been prepared and over whose text I was permitted no influence. I have signed nothing.
The fact of the matter is:
The archbishop’s office received a particular inquiry from the press. As is customary in such cases, the intention was to provide an immediate response. However, neither the current vicar general and his staff nor our current Archbishop had any knowledge of what had been going on at that time. The appropriate files were fetched from the records office. Based on their evidence, a statement was drafted. As it was obvious that I had signed the documents as the then vicar general, it seemed appropriate for a personal statement on my part, and a draft was included in the general statement.
In the late afternoon of March 12, 2010, I was telephoned and informed of that plan, and received the draft via fax. I should make alterations to the text wherever and whenever I thought necessary. This I did.
The expression “on his own authority” which was made public by the press officer was not contained in the draft and had not been discussed with me, and annoyed me deeply, because the ordinary reader may understand it as misuse of office instead of understanding it in the general sense of church law, meaning “in the mandate of that office or position.”
As for the remarks of the psychotherapist Professor Dr. Werner Huth, my recollection is that in the telephone conversations at the time he did indeed point out the risks in connection with the pedophile priest, but that he did not completely exclude a successful result of therapy.
Archbishop Marx has never called me dishonest in this context.
In the last few weeks, which have been very stressful for me, I have received from several of you encouraging and supportive calls and letters. For these I thank you all sincerely. It was particularly encouraging for me to receive a phone call from FM Cardinal Wetter, who has also talked to our new archbishop about my difficult situation. Incidentally, shortly before Easter, Archbishop Marx sent me his best regards and also expressed his gratitude for my “contribution”.
Dear Brothers, I hope to see many of you at our forthcoming meeting and ask you for your prayers.
Salvete in Domino!