“… the truth shall make you free” (John 8,32)
The case of Fr. D. Oko and Fr. J. Stöhr
In 2021, after a complaint filed by German dissident priest Wolfgang Rothe, the District Court of Cologne (Germany) found that the article "On the need to curb homosexual cliques in the Church" published in the scientific journal "Theologisches" constituted "incitement to hatred" against homosexuals . The author of the article, Polish Roman Catholic priest professor Dariusz Oko is a philosopher at the Pontifical University of St. John Paul II in Cracow. Earlier, he had published a book in Poland entitled "Lawendowa mafia" on this and related topics. The journal "Theologisches" (theologisches.net) is a scientific theological journal. In the article, the author describes the homosexual lobby operating in the Roman Catholic Church, draws attention to cases of abuse by homosexual clergy and details the mechanisms used by the so-called 'homoclans', 'homomafies' or 'lavender mafias' of criminal clergymen in order to avoid responsibility. Fr. D. Oko describes such clergy as a "colony of parasites" and as a "homosexual plague" or "a cancer that is even ready to kill its host." "I collect known facts about homosexuals in cassocks and their customs ... The 'Lavender mafia' has a similar role as the mafia in Sicily," said Fr. D. Oko. The court initially sentenced Fr. D. Oko on a fine of €4,800 or 120 days in prison. The almost 92-year-old (!) German priest and editor-in-chief of the journal, Johannes Stöhr, was also punished. Both priests appealed. “Is criticism of the criminal activities of the Sicilian Mafia inciting hatred against all Sicilians? So how can an academic reflection on the challenge posed by the criminal network related to homosexual practices in the Church be an incitement to hatred against all homosexuals?” commented Fr. D. Oko. An international petition in support of both priests was signed by (approx.) 85,000 people. On May 20, 2022, the main hearing took place in Cologne. Judge Sophie Schwartz said she did not dispute the priest's findings about the activities of the "lavender mafia". However, she noted that Fr. D. Oko should not use certain phrases in his works. Nevertheless, Gerhard Müller, a German cardinal and former prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said: "Condemning these crimes in strong language is an act of courage, far from inciting society to hatred, which deserves the respect of all decent people." Fr. D. Oko apologized for using such a strong statement and agreed to donate €3,150 to charity… Fr. J. Stöhr (the editor of the journal) also agreed to donate 4,000 euros to charity… A settlement was reached: prosecutor Ulf Willuhn withdrew the indictment and the judge, i.e. the court, discontinued the proceedings (see , ). What prompted Father D. Oko to accept such a settlement? As you can see, the terms agreed are not much different from the first sentence... What made him agree? For some, the change of Father D. Oko's position must have been a surprise. He had previously assured of his willingness to continue the legal fight and said: "I am ... determined, despite the fact that the Germans forbid me to do so, to save seminarians from homoclitics", "I am ready for prison"! So he changed his mind? He probably hopes that in this way he will avoid legal obstacles to the publication of his article and the German translation of his book (let's hope that some new, unexpected obstacle will not appear at the last minute). He probably felt he had to do this in order to continue to spread his views legally… So he just adapted his tactics to the real circumstances? Something must have made him do it. What could it be? What happened ???
Maybe it's that: on the eve of the hearing, i.e. on May 19, 2022, a very unusual event took place: "Deutsche Welle" published an interview with Wolfgang Rothe, i.e. with the plaintiff whose complaint ended with a hearing , . What is "Deutsche Welle"? It is a German state-owned information body of global format, a tax-funded company . This is the German equivalent of "Voice of America", "Radio France International", "BBC" and so on. As you might expect, "Voice of America" presents a rather American point of view, "Radio France International" - a French one and "BBC" - British. Similarly, "Deutsche Welle" presents a German point of view (it should be also noted that the planning of "Deutsche Welle" activities is determined by the Bundestag, the German parliament ). In other words, this company can also be considered or called "The Voice of Germany". And “Deutsche Welle” is really a very important, rich and powerful company: 4,000 employees of more than 140 nationalities… journalistic content in 32 languages… TV channels in English, Arabic, Spanish and German; digital content in 30 languages (Facebook, YouTube… )… 24/7 English-language TV channel available worldwide… Their TV attracts 117 million viewers a week…
You need to understand what that means. The "Deutsche Welle" ("Voice of Germany" !) is openly arguing for one of the parties in a legal dispute that has not yet been settled! Such an important world publisher wants the allegations of the accuser to be widely known, promotes him, gives him publicity and gives him the opportunity to freely present his accusations!!! Imagine this just happened to you. That you have a legal dispute with someone, and on the eve of the trial, such a powerful publisher as "Deutsche Welle" allied with your opponent supports his as yet unconfirmed and perhaps biased accusations! How would you feel if you were in Fr. D.Oko’s shoes? Isn't that really extraordinary ? (judge for yourself)!
So who is Fr. Wolfgang Rothe, the protégé, favorite of "Deutsche Welle"? Treated in such a special way by "Voice of Germany"? We need to take a closer look at him. He is also known as "Whiskey-Vikar": "he is considered an expert on Scotch whiskey and is known for combining this knowledge with lectures and publications on spiritual topics" . Since 2002 he was secretary to Kurt Krenn, Bishop of St. Pölten in Austria (near Vienna) - in fact he was ordained by him. What about the Bishop of St. Pölten: "theologian Paul Zulehner explained in an interview with Die Welt that Kurt Krenn was addicted to alcohol and therefore could no longer perform his duties properly ... Krenn had previously undergone alcohol addiction treatment in a Munich clinic". P. Zulehner (he teaches at the University of Vienna) also said: “His health is very bad. I doubt that he will ever be able to accept his responsibility as a bishop for what he has contributed to” ,. Does this fact of alcoholism of the bishop have anything to do with the pseudonym of his secretary? Wolfgang Rothe also served as deputy rector of the St. Pölten in Austria (since 2003). Fr. The rector at that time was Ulrich Küchl. Both German priests were on very good terms with Bishop Kurt Krenn (he invited them to join his diocese). From 2010, Wolfgang Rothe began to openly promote his homosexuality . In November 2021, a BBC journalist interviewed him in a "homosexual sauna" . Do you know what a "homosexual, gay sauna" is? “A gay bathhouse, also known as a gay sauna or gay steam room, is a commercial space where gays, bisexuals, and other men can have sex with men” . Wolfgang Rothe himself recalls this meeting: "... today I blessed a homosexual couple on the roof terrace of the hotel-sauna, etc. 'Deutsche Eiche'..." ('Deutsche Eiche' is one of the most popular meeting places for homosexuals in Munich/Germany). But places as high as the "roof terrace" can be risky, dangerous for him - he should rather avoid them… Because - (as claimed ): "that night he (I.e."Whiskey-Vikar") fell from the balcony of his apartment on the second floor, after drinking a large amount of alcohol. He had a concussion and a broken arm and now says he doesn't remember anything about that night..."
But let's stick to the topic, with the seminar in St. Pölten. One would expect that the atmosphere in such an institution would be more conducive to spiritual development and learning (even if not entirely ascetic). But it wasn't. According to  p. 145: “The story really begins on November 10, 2003, when technical experts working on a publicly available computer at the St. Pölten discovered pictures and pornographic films on it and reported it to the seminar director Ulrich Küchl. On November 27, twenty-nine seminary students asked Küchl to investigate the matter". So between November 10th and November 27th nothing happened there! Finally, after more than two weeks, the students submitted a petition to the rector: apparently they were afraid that the problem of "pornographic materials" would be "swept under the carpet", i.e. ignored! (later someone will anonymously send compromising pictures to the newspapers, to the bishop, etc. with the following words attached: "... please act for the good of the Church. Those who suffer scandal say to you 'Thank you'..."). And this petition seems to have achieved its goal: "The next day, Küchl... informed the State Prosecutor". Thus began the worldwide church sex scandal in Austria… The police and church investigation was launched after students "decided to put an end to years of silence about the activities that took place in the seminary." More than 40,000 (yes, forty thousand) porn images and videos were found in the computers of the seminary: child pornography (it’s a crime in Austria), acts of pedophilia and bestiality (for ex. a rape of a 5-year-old boy, sex with animals...) and so on and so on... Other photos of the rector and his deputy caressing and kissing student seminary priests were also published (some of them are circulating on the Internet to this day). "One of these photos caused much later speculation mainly in the US about the nature of the kiss : it was asked whether it was in fact what Americans would call 'French Kiss'" (if you want to form your own opinion about this passionate kiss, you can still see two of them here: . But you have to hurry because who knows how long they will be there? Although, as they say, nothing is lost on the internet forever...). The Austrian weekly "Profil" (profil.au) reported that "both the rector and his deputy had homosexual relations with students, using pedophile pictures for stimulation", "Stories came to light about Küchl and Rothe's alleged involvement in orgies with their seminarians“ , “several other photos were circulated and published by the media” , (for ex. Rector Küchl touching a cleric’s fly!). Bishop Kurt Krenn asserted that it was "a manhunt" and "the photo of Rothe kissing a young seminarian had absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality and was just a kind of ‘boyish stupidity’", that "photos of kissing and caressing priests is simply ‘Bubendummiheiten (childish, youthful pranks)’". And he openly questioned their authenticity (hadn't they been processed by computer technology?) In vain... A former seminarian also accused Rector Ulrich Küchl of homosexual behavior... This is how this huge scandal broke out… One of the most important scandals in the Catholic Church in modern times…
It is also worth noting the interesting nickname of Fr. Ulrich Küchl, rector of the seminar: "Frau Propstin". Herr Rektor Küchl was called by his young favorites "Frau Propstin i.e. Madam or Lady Rector" ! "Frau Propstin in der Sakristei / Lady Rector in the sacristy" - the seminarians used to say ... So "Whiskey-Vikar" was a substitute for "Frau Propstin / Lady Rector" - it's even funny...
The daily practice in a peculiar atmosphere of the seminary was indeed very special: "Homosexual passion and jealousy ruled the day, embedded in complex interpersonal dynamics between favorites and outsiders", "fun drunken nights" (some students would flee to the attic to sleep peacefully), "perverse male couple blessing ceremonies" ... There were scenes of jealousy , intrigue, betrayal, psychoterror … The Rector Ulrich Küchl "supposedly took his favorites with him to his residence in Eisgarn on weekends". Occasionally there was a permutation of favorites between homosexual couples... And: "Those who were supposed to oppose these practices were harassed and intimidated"! "Neither Ulrich Küchl nor Wolfgang Rothe were ready to admit that they were practicing homosexuals" . They pleaded that they were not involved, explained their ignorance... And finally resigned - but without admitting any guilt! How could the seminary management not know what was going on with such a small group of students living together in one place? In such institutions, seminarians are usually under close observation. All student-priests have to go to confession and everyone has his spiritual director... These two, "Frau Propstin" and his (her?) deputy "Whiskey-Vikar" apparently think we're all idiots (and insult my intelligence!). And yet he managed to convince many of his ignorance (for ex. Wikipedia stated: "Neither state nor ecclesiastical investigation has revealed Dr. Rothe's misconduct that should be punished". And about Ulrich Küchl: "He has always denied the allegations against him and still does" ). Wolfgang Rothe delayed revealing his homosexuality until 2010. Only then he publicly did his 'come out' - six years later! If this had been known already in 2004, who would have believed in his innocence then? If Wolfgang Rothe had already blessed gay couples back then, if he had already visited gay saunas back then, as he does today, who would have believed his ignorance? Bishop Kurt Krenn, who initially ruled out resigning, finally realized that he had no other choice. The Vatican announced on October 7, 2004 that his resignation had been accepted for "serious misconduct". Klaus Küng, the new Bishop of St Pölten, tried unsuccessfully to persuade Wolfgang Rothe to voluntarily resign from the priesthood (You can make a guess based on the photos  that W. Rothe missed his vocation, he could have made a career in Hollywood in the roles of a lover-seducer)."The saddest thing about St Pölten Seminary, Bishop Küng said, was that the homosexual atmosphere discouraged heterosexual candidates." “Deutsche Welle” had already written about Wolfgang Rothe on the occasion of the “St Pölten seminar scandal” who made the news the world over. It's their old friend...
If "Deutsche Welle" really wanted to inform its public opinion objectively, to familiarize them with the case of Fr. D. Oko, was there not a more suitable person than Fr. Wolfgang Rothe throughout Germany? Why wasn't someone else chosen? For example, a bishop or cardinal? Wouldn't that be more appropriate? Or maybe they just wanted to avoid hearing something similar to what German Cardinal Gerhard Müller (former prefect of the Congregation of Faith in the Vatican) has already said on this matter? Who compared the Cologne district court ruling to the criminal Nazi regime of Hans Frank in German occupied Poland during World War II. When Polish professors and intellectuals were persecuted and murdered… Who said: "... these judges ... are not aware of the criminal nature of some acts committed by certain persons in the Church who hide behind the shield of impunity provided by their function" And that: "this case should sound like an alarm bell for everyone who know history." And that he is ashamed that in his homeland "it is again possible that a Polish scientist may be convicted on charges of incitement to hatred for publishing a substantive report" . Isn't this opinion of someone who held one of the highest positions in the Vatican significant? Instead, "Deutsche Welle" preferred to support Wolfgang Rothe's accusations! They practically created a tandem with him.
Is it possible to imagine that the defendants, their lawyers, did not notice such an important fact that "Deutsche Welle" published an interview with their opponent, in the Polish edition just before the trial? So the news of this interview must have been like a bolt from the blue for them!
It would not be at all strange if, under these conditions, the defendants became convinced that their case was lost. That someone is trying (violating elementary norms and customs) to exert pressure on the judiciary. That there was an unacceptable attempt to interfere in the ongoing trial. And that the court was biased! And maybe someone was counting on it? Was it a psychological preparation of Fr. D.Oko and Fr. J. Stöhr ? Rev. Prof.D.Oko is a Pole. After all, Germany was once a fascist dictatorship. And then in the eastern part of this country - a communist one. And in Poland, east and central Europe etc, there are still those who remember well what German justice once was... What communist or fascist justice meant... These red” or “brown” judges acted on orders! Their slogan was: "Befehl ist Befehl" (an order is an order)! ! And this was the case in large parts of Germany for most of the 20th century. This is why, some people may still have difficulty trusting the German courts...
How could this have happened? Did Wolfgang Rothe have powerful, important friends? (how good it is to have such influential friends - it's a pity that in such a morally questionable case!)
In fact, the scandal began 10 days before the porn photos were discovered - with a mysterious death: "On October 31, 2003, a fifty-three year old seminarian from St. Pölten, Ewald S., was found dead in Alten Donau (a branch of the Danube near Vienna). The police gave the official cause of death as drowning, but did not completely rule out a crime"  (p.146). There were rumors that it was a murder! Before he was somehow led to his death ("...Ewald S... was led to his death..."  p.153 ), Ewald S. confided to someone that there were three "bad people” in the seminary...
The balance of this scandal is rather extraordinary :
- the collapse of an old, more than two-century-old institution (the seminary was closed) ;
- public scandal on an international, even planetary scale;
- the lives and vocations of students turned upside down;
- a seminarian tried and convicted;
- a suicide attempt;
- a mysterious death...
Pretty impressive, isn't it? And, no one feels guilty about it...
(Well, there were so many interesting questions to ask Wolfgang Rothe! Not only about thousands of porn pictures and the ruin of the seminary he co-directed, but also about a inexplicable death of Ewald S. Who is behind this death ? Maybe some important people ? But the "Deutsche Welle" preferred to talk with him about Father D.Oko. This bafflig lack of curiosity on their part is at least a serious journalistic, professional error ! Well, unless they had someone's explicit directives " from the very top ".…)
And does this affair not threaten to damage the prestige of such an important institution as the German Parliament? Who apparently didn't mind that it will give the impression that a state publisher dependent on the German legislature is biased, that it has chosen a side in a still pending lawsuit ? That it will give the impression that "Whiskey-Vikar" - the former deputy director of the St Pölten seminary - is the preferred, protégé of "Voice of Germany" ! That the "Deutsche Welle" or maybe even the Bundestag indicates who should win the trial !!! And who has dared to do so ? It had to be someone very influential, who was sure not to suffer any consequences for his actions....
The only people who have suffered judicial consequences (direct or indirect) in the St Pölten seminary case are Fr. D.Oko, Fr. J. Stöhr - and a Polish seminarian who was " convicted in Austria of possessing 1,700 pornographic images..."  p. 147 (for a six-month’ imprisonment on probation - although he asserted his innocence and attempted suicide). But haven't about 40,000 photos been found in the seminary computers? And 1,700 is less than 5%… So who is responsible for the rest, i.e. about 38,000 photos (+95%)? And what about Ewald S.?
Someone may say that the settlement of the defendants with the court, their consent to these or other conditions, is their private matter. What do we really care? And they are in a rather comfortable situation : they can count on solidarity support from various institutions, the church, academia (and even politicians), etc. etc. They are not alone. Many will be happy to help them in one way or another, organize petitions, collections, etc., etc. (and on the other hand, they have a story to tell, to write another book!). But this is not just a problem only for these two defendant priests. Yes, Cardinal Gerhard Müller was right when he issued the warning that “in his homeland it is again possible to convict a Polish scientist on charges of inciting hatred for publishing a substantive report" and that "this case should sound like an alarm bell for anyone who knows history". Yes, for anyone. If such a insidious trick could be done to a foreign philosopher-professor and 92-year-old publisher of a scientific journal, then it can happen to anyone all the more! The same dirty trick can be played with everybody. What happened to them can happen to each of us - for example, to a blogger who dares to write something that will not be liked by some powerful people... And who cannot count on any special support. So this is not just the problem of these two priests, it is a wider, broader case. It is a matter that concerns “all decent people” - using the expression of Cardinal Gerhard Müller… This issue is about freedom of speech in general !
 https://www.dw.com/pl/polski-ksi%C4%85dz-odpowie-przed-niemieckim-s%C4%85dem-mia%C5%82-pod%C5%BCega%C4%87-do-nienawi%C5%9Bci/a-61838232 Permalink: //p.dw.com/p/4BSwq (in polish)
 https://www.salon24.pl/u/edalward/1228331,proces-ksiedza-d-oko-i-j-stoehr-a (Published: 19 of may 2022, 16:12 - in polish)
 https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2018/kw26-de-deutsche-welle-560348 (in german)
 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Krenn , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Krenn
 https://www.welt.de/print-welt/article331087/Bischof-Krenn-hat-seine-Amtszeit-faktisch-selbst-beendet.html (in german)
 « German priest performs gay pseudo-blessing in Munich’s gay sauna... » (5 nov 2021)
 « The Defenestration of Poelten » (Jan 21, 2005)
 Pieter Judson, A Scandal in the Seminary, in : Contemporary Austrian Studies Vol 15 « Sexuality in Austria » Ed. by Gunter Bischof Anton Pelinka and Dagmar Herzog 2017 Routledge Taylor & Francis Group London and New York First publ. 2009 by Transation Publishers Published 2017 Routledge, p.145 – 157
 https://www.cath.ch/newsf/rome-le-vatican-officialise-la-demission-de-mgr-kurt-krenn-eveque-de-st-poelten/ (in french)
 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulrich_K%C3%BCchl (in german)
 https://www.dorzeczy.pl/wywiady/194141/wstydze-sie-za-to-co-spotkalo-ks-oko.html (in polish)
 "Befehl ist Befehl" - "Used wrily when someone attempts to justify questionable actions by referring to rules, laws or orders from higher up."
The case of Fr. D. Oko and Fr. J. Stöhr
“… the truth shall make you free” (John 8,32)