ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE IN THE VATICAN. MSGR. KÜHN ANSWERS.
22 Luglio 2020
Dear Stilumcuriali, as you remember, we published a translation of an article in the BIld Zeitung (in a shortened version, we saw that Il Giornale had a more extensive and detailed) version on alleged abuses committed years ago in the Secretariat of State. The person at the center of this story, Msgr. Christoph Kühn, sent us a long response document which we publish.
- – “a procedure is underway in Germany centered on Msgr. Christoph Kühn”.
Answer: There are two (2) procedures underway in Germany. One is before the secular courts against BILD Zeitung (which defines itself as “indispensable for you”, because “we show you the hottest celebrity news and transfer rumors”, and uses this as a selling point for its trash gossip) and Nikolaus Harbusch for defamation in the press (diffamazione per mezzo stampa); the second process is of a canonical nature and was initiated by the Bishop of Eichstätt, based substantially upon the articles written by Nikolaus Harbusch, whom the Ordinary knows very well, and published by BILD Zeitung.
- – “It is the latest example of how the highest levels of the Church – in spite of declarations, vademecums, exhortations, and various documents – tolerate and close their eyes and ears when sexual abuse and harassment – specifically homosexual – takes place towards priests and seminarians”.
Answer: This is a mere subjective, unsubstantiated opinion.
- – “The affair is centered on a German prelate who served in the Vatican during the pontificate of Pope Benedict”.
Answer: The fact that the person in question is “a German prelate who served in the Vatican during the pontificate of Pope Benedict”, is not contested.
- – “It is said that the man made unwanted sexual advances against at least two priests, which he denies”.
Answer: The allegations have been vehemently denied, and remain unproven. Indeed, thirteen months of investigation by the secular authorities have not produced any element that could confirm even a single allegation against Msgr. Kühn.
- – “To clarify the case, the bishop of Eichstätt, Gregor Hanke, even sent a religious (a former prosecutor) to Rome last week as an investigator!”.
Answer: The person in question, and his legal team had no prior knowledge of what was asserted in the July 17th article. If what BILD Zeitung holds forth to be true, then there has been a clear violation of the procedural norms of canon law.
- – “Because according to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, […] in charge of personnel at the Secretariat of State […], the incident was covered up!”
Answer: The person in question, and his legal team have had no knowledge, nor allusion of any involvement of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, past or present, with regard to the defamatory allegations published by BILD Zeitung.
- – “Viganò has presented a four-page document, which was also made available to his counterpart at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.
Answer: The person in question, and his legal team have no knowledge of « a four-page document » purportedly presented by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to some unnamed person or entity, and to whom the reference: “his counterpart at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” remains unknown and inexplicable.
- – “The testimony is attached to a 10-page criminal denunciation along with the alleged offender’s[sic] request to be removed from the priesthood”.
Answer: Once again, the person in question, and his legal team have no knowledge of « a ten-page criminal denunciation » purportedly presented to whomever. Indeed, if what BILD Zeitung/Nikolaus Harbusch asserts can be proven, then Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD Zeitung will have received information in a clear violation of the procedural norms of canon law. A violation which is punishable in canon law, but.
- – “Viganò gives the names of those responsible and the spicy details from the suspect’s personal life, from the prelate’s years of service in Africa”.
Answer: To this point, neither the person in question, nor any member of his legal team has any knowledge of the names of those persons whom Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò purportedly indicated as « those responsible »; much less, of any « spicy details from the suspect’s personal life, from the prelate’s years of service in Africa », information which seemingly only Nikolaus Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD Zeitung have in their possession. This too is very suspect.
- – “The Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the most powerful man after Pope Francis, was also informed”.
Answer: Neither the person in question, nor any member of his legal team have any knowledge of what the Cardinal Secretary of State purportedly was informed of.
- – “A professor of psychology evaluated the files and gave a negative prognosis on the personality of the German prelate”.
Answer: Neither the person in question, nor his legal team have any knowledge of any evaluation carried by an unnamed « professor of psychology » nor of any report with a “prognosis” based upon unspecified “files”. The German prelate, Msgr. Kühn was never interviewed by a psychologist, nor would there be any valid or legitimate reason for him to be subjected to similar invasive treatment. Hence another poignant question: From whence did Nikolaus Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD Zeitung gain such information? Thus, again we are looking at a clear violation of the procedural norms of canon law. A violation which is punishable in canon law, and with other ramifications that fall under the jurisdiction of the secular courts.
- – “There are these entries in the file”.
Answer: This is what Nikolaus Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD
Zeitung affirm. However, neither the person in question, nor any member of his legal team has full knowledge of “these”, or perhaps even other “entries in the file”. Has BILD Zeitung/Nikolaus Harbusch had access to a file that is sub secreto while a diocesan investigation is being carried out?
- – “According to the lawyer Alexander Stevens, who represents one of the victims: « With the declaration made by the director of personnel Viganò, the obstruction of justice at the highest level of the Church has been officially established ».”
Answer: The “lawyer Alexander Stevens”, a well known LGBTQ activist and supporter of the relative lifestyle and debauchery, draws a very personal, unsubstantiated conclusion, regarding a « declaration made by the director of personnel Viganò », heretofore unseen by the person in question, nor by any member of his legal team. Mr. Stevens and his client have the burden of proof to show that « the obstruction of justice at the highest level of the Church has been officially established ». This statement, just as the entire storyline, amounts to nothing more than defamatory, calumnious sensationalism.
- – “In the meantime, the Church has issued a written statement saying that at the time of his transfer to Germany, the Vatican had made it known that the prelate, despite his notable gifts and intellectual capacity, had to leave the diplomatic service.”
Answer: This is a very standard statement, which in this case simply acknowledges “notable gifts and intellectual capacity” of the prelate, but does not delve into the person’s private life.
- – “According to Archbishop Viganò, who presented a written testimony to the tribunal, the present Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin was also involved in the case”.
Answer: Once again, Nikolaus Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD Zeitung seem to be much better informed than the person in question, and even the individual members his legal team; all of whom have no knowledge of Archbishop Viganò having “presented a written testimony to the tribunal”. One should query as to which tribunal Mr. Harbusch is referring to, given that there is no “tribunal” in the canonical forum constituted for any type of process against Msgr. Kühn.
- – “Like other Vatican personnel directors, Parolin not only is alleged to have covered up for the abuser, but also is said to have punished the young victim”.
Answer: Once again, Nikolaus Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD Zeitung have the burden of proof, and must prove beyond any reasonable doubt: 1) that the allegations leveled against Msgr. Kühn are true; 2) that the Most Eminent Cardinal Secretary of State “covered up for the abuser”; 3) that the Most Eminent Cardinal Secretary of State “punished the young [sic] victim”. Otherwise, we remain in the context of sensationalistic, defamatory and calumnious statements against officials of “the highest level” in the Church.
- – It is furthermore asserted:
17, a) “We have had the opportunity to read the ten pages of the denunciation made by the poor priest”.
17, b) “who suffers from depression and other physical and psychological maladies as a result of the abuse”.
17, c) “and above all from the vendetta which the alleged abuser effected for years against him”.
17, d) with the indifference, silence, and connivance of the those in charge in the Church both in the Vatican and in Germany”.
17, e) “If a third of what he wrote is true, it makes one want to vomit”.
17,f) “It is a dramatic situation that also involved the parents of the priest and contributed to an attempted suicide by the victim’s mother”.
Answer: It is not clear when, nor who “had the opportunity to read the ten pages of the denunciation made by the poor priest”, supposedly it was only Nikolaus Harbusch and the editorial staff of BILD Zeitung; unless Mr. Tosatti and the editorial staff of Stilum Curiae were also made privy to same. Notwithstanding neither the so-called accused prelate, nor any member of his legal team has any means or direct knowledge to confirm what is asserted above. All that can and must be said is that the accuser, Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus (born in 1974) is not credible. De hoc satis.
- – “The alleged perpetrator was a powerful man – and perhaps he still is, because of what he came to know during his past years in the Secretariat of State”.
Answer: “The alleged perpetrator” never was, and to this day is not, nor does he or has he ever considered himself to be “a powerful man”. The accuser fails, omits, and is incapable of indicating “what he came to know during his past years in the Secretariat of State”. An allusion that on its face is ridiculous, given the humble office “munus” of the prelate when he worked in the German language section of the Secretariat of State. Msgr. Kühn took his job seriously and foresaw to his work in a commendable, efficient and precise manner.
- – “The alleged perpetrator was a powerful man – and perhaps he still is, because of what he came to know during his past years in the Secretariat of State Even to the point of making the following threat at a certain point, according to the denunciation: “When Ratzinger goes into retirement I will also destroy Gänswein”.
Answer: Msgr. Kühn, and the individual members of this legal team are wholly unaware of any malevolent expression or intent against Archbishop Gänswein. The premise of the quoted phrase: «When Ratzinger goes into retirement » is certainly of interest. Therewith, Nikolaus Harbusch, through Bild Zeitung, appears to suggest the preposterous, i.e. that Msgr. Kühn knew ahead of time that Pope Benedict XVI would retire? How could anyone be so gullible, to not say “stupid”, to believe a similar storyline such as that?
- – “According to the victim, after the abuse: « I felt dirty, guilty, sick. In fact, for at least a week I did not go into the office, saying that I was sick. I did not even leave my house. I was deeply traumatized. Even today this experience returns as a nightmare when I sleep. I am so ashamed. The first time I spoke about it in detail to the [German] Landshut police was after the first article published by Bild in 2019 about the conduct of Msgr. Christoph Kühn »”.
Answer: Msgr. Kühn, and the individual members of his legal team are wholly unaware of how or why the self-proclaimed victim subjectively “feels”, or the arcane reasons he proclaims to be « so ashamed ». What is more, whether it was the “first time” he spoke about it in detail “was after the first article published by Bild in 2019” is not only a legal stratagem, but it is also self- defeating. Indeed, the timing of Msgr. Kolfhaus’ supposed recall of so-called “repressed memory” is nothing less than highly suspicious.
- – “The vendetta towards the victim began in 2012, when an anonymous letter, written in German, was sent to all the dicastery heads of the Roman Curia and to all the German-speaking bishops.
Answer: The referenced “anonymous letter”, by its own description disqualifies it from being attributed to Msgr. Kühn. This “anonymous letter” will eventually be valuated by the competent judicial authority.
- – “The unsigned letter accused Archbishop Gänswein, Msgr. Wilhelm Imkamp, other priests, and also the victim of forming a gay cartel that organized orgies”.
Answer: As said above, the referenced “unsigned letter”, by its own description disqualifies it from being attributed to Msgr. Kühn. One should ask why the “victim” was included amongst those who purportedly sought to form « a gay cartel that organized orgies ».
- – “A year later, Msgr. Christoph Kühn’s service in the Vatican was terminated”. Answer: The fact is that Msgr. Christoph Kühn’s service in the Vatican was not “terminated” for any fault of his own. The record shows that in 2012 Msgr. Christoph Kühn was offered the position of Canon at the Cathedral of Eichstätt by Bishop Hanke. Given that Msgr. Kühn’s mother was very ill at that time, he voluntarily opted to leave the diplomatic service. His mother died in January 2013. Now, if the accusers, Msgr. Kolfhaus and his friend and ally Mr. Harbusch wish to tie events together after the fact, as already said, they have the burden of
proof and will be held liable for their false declarations and allegations.
- – “Thus he began the German chapter of his service, in Vienna and Germany”. Answer: Msgr. Christoph Kühn simply returned to his diocese of incardination, i.e. Eichstätt, which is normally what happens when a priest or
prelate finishes their work in a dicastery of the Roman Curia.
- – “Thus he began the German chapter of his service… that led to his legal troubles and to the present situation”.
Answer: To all those who have eyes to see, it is quite obvious that Msgr. Christoph Kühn’s return the Diocese of Eichstätt is not what led to his legal troubles and to the present situation. Malicious acts of defamation and calumny have catapulted Msgr. Kūhn into the present situation.
26.- “Even the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received the denunciation made by the victim, in which it is requested that the alleged abuser be reduced to the lay state”.
The person in question, Msgr. Kūhn, just as the individual members of this legal team are wholly unaware of a “denunciation made by the victim”, or of a request that he “be reduced to the lay state”. It is quite extraordinary that all of us, have learned this detail from Stilum Curiae.
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