BRAZIL, Luciana Rosas •
Letter to the Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. —
Dear community of the Institute of Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary:
Today, on International Women’s Day (08.03), it seems important to me to write this letter, not only in the context and meaning of today, but also after the announcement of the press office of the Diocese of Trier, according to which Bishop Ackermann, who is responsible for carrying out the process of beatification of Fr. Joseph Kentenich, has decided to create a commission of experts outside the process instead of a commission of historians within the process of beatification, and the publication of the letter of Sr. M. Aleja Slaughter, the General Superior of the Institute, and the General Director, Dr. Bernd Biberger, dated March 6, 2021 (one day after the announcement of the change of procedure by the competent diocese), informing the Schoenstatt Movement that the Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary is taking legal action against the author of the book “Father is Allowed to Do It” (“Vater darf das”), Dr. Alexandra von Teuffenbach, and against the publisher Traugott Bautz.
At this moment, I remember an interview that Fr. Guillermo Carmona had with the current General Superior, Sister Aleja, (available on the YouTube channel of Schoenstatt Argentina), when at the end of 1h 14′, Fr. Guillermo Carmona asks how the community received the publication of the book, the General Superior begins by saying: “When the founder is attacked, all of Schoenstatt is attacked”, and then she explains that the information was taken out of context, and that for people who do not understand this reality, the publication of this information is like “throwing your pearls before the pigs”.
I am a Schoenstatter and by no means I have felt attacked by the content of the book.
I have read the book and I can say that it is not an attack on Schoenstatt. I am a Schoenstatter and I have never felt attacked by the content of the book. I felt betrayed and deceived by the General Presidium and the areas of influence within the Schoenstatt Movement, especially the community of the Sisters of Mary, because they have hidden and falsified the history of Schoenstatt. No one and no community have the right to do this.
And making information scientifically accessible is not “throwing your pearls before the pigs “, Sr. M. Aleja. We will no longer accept being kept in the dark, nor will we accept being branded as incapable and unable to access certain information.
The information about the legal actions against the publication and the author, a historian who based her work on historical documents available for consultation, is a sign of censorship. What would be expected should be openness to dialogue and transparency with all parties involved. We are in the year 2021 and we will not accept this kind of interference from above.
The Commission of the Diocese of Trier is responsible for judging the veracity of this information, and we, the Schoenstatters, have the right to complete, clear, transparent, unvarnished and not interpreted information.
Soon the book will also be available in Spanish, which will greatly increase the Schoenstatt Movement’s access to the published material. This will allow a debate and reduce interventions and interpretations at will.
I would be pleased to see the same commitment and speed in the investigation of the recently reported cases of abuse in your community.
We are prepared and ready to receive the truth about Fr. Joseph Kentenich. Kentenich, a human being capable of making mistakes, like everyone else. We will no longer accept obstructive attitudes that use the phrase: “You are my promise to the world” (PJK) as a justification to position as owners of the truth.
Openness and transparency. Less obsession with the canonization and more life.
More sorority. It is sad to realize that these kinds of attitudes come precisely from a women’s community that up to this point has not been capable of a single word of empathy for all the people who have shared their testimonies, which have now finally been made public.
We don’t need romantic speeches in shrines or MTA photo cards for Women’s Day. We need respect and dignity, transparency and truth.
That is what we will fight for, always.
For truth and transparency. With dialogue, openness and respect.
Luciana Rosas – Brazil
Original: Portuguese 2021-03-09. Translated by Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México