Letter of Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio - 4.5.2022
“You are my letter of recommendation” (2 Cor 3:2)
Schoenstatt, May 4th 2022
Dear Schoenstatt Family,
on May 3, 2022, the Diocese of Trier published the decision of Bishop Dr. Stephan Ackermann to suspend the beatification process of Father Kentenich (cf. the press release of the diocese and the statement of the General Presidium). The bishop expressly emphasizes that with the suspension of the process, no judgement has been passed on the life and work of Father Kentenich. He wants to encourage more intensive, free research.
Dear Schoenstatt Family, as much as this news is painful for us, we firmly believe that God always leads us, especially through difficulties. This is true of the many questions of the world and society. This is also true for the Church and for Schoenstatt in turbulent and challenging times. Together we are invited to discover how God is leading us and how we are to respond.
A beatification and canonization is not an end in itself. Perhaps Our Lady wants us rather to be more committed to the mission of our founder and the fruitfulness of his charism in the Church for our time. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all else will be added to you” (Mt 6:33)
The authentic Father Kentenich is in demand, with his greatness and limits, but especially as a prophetic-provocative figure, which we want to recognize and communicate in depth. He was and remains a sign of contradiction.
We regard the new situation as an opportunity and a challenge to research the historical truth in depth, with seriousness and in freedom, and to make it known. This is a complex task that will cost a lot of time and energy, as well as financial resources. For our part, we want to make every effort to ensure that Father Kentenich and his message are thoroughly studied and made known. He himself always had this concern. Various circles and an international research group are already working intensively on this.
Above all, however, we understand the current decisions as a call from God to stand for the Schoenstatt message with our lives more than before. Through our striving for an authentic Christian life in keeping with the times and through our apostolic commitment, we want to bear witness to the founder and thus make his charism fruitful in the Church.
The work should speak for the founder, as St Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “You are my letter of recommendation” (2 Cor 3:2). In this spirit we also understand Pope John Paul II’s call to the Schoenstatt Movement: “You canonize him!”
We accept the challenge. Today more than ever.
At the beginning of the month of May we entrust everything to the Blessed Mother:
Tua res agitur! Clarifica te! (It is your task! Glorify yourself!)
Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio
President of the General Presidium