Woelkis University: Rector denies funding commitment

Rocky: Cardinal Woelki on September 1 in the garden of the archbishop's house in Cologne
Image: dpa

Crisis communication in the Archdiocese of Cologne: First the rector of the "Cologne University for Catholic Theology", Christoph Ohly, denies something that was not even read in the FAZ - then he disputes what he himself signed.

An Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. 26 minutes and 11 seconds was the world around the Archbishop of Cologne Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki okay again - if only for a short time. In a report by the Catholic News Agency (KNA), the rector of the "Cologne University for Catholic Theology" (KHKT), which Woelki founded three years ago, tried to give the impression that the FAZ had written untruth.

Daniel Deckers

responsible for “The Present” in the political editorial team.

According to the canon law professor Christoph Ohly, the FAZ claimed that he had promised “in a letter to the Vatican binding financing of the KHKT”. He "resolutely" rejects this view. "Neither orally nor in writing did he make such a statement."

In fact, Ohly denied something that could not be read in the FAZ. In the Thursday edition, the newspaper had written on page 3, that Ohly made a corresponding assurance to the church agency AKAST in the course of the re-accreditation process for the Magister course in Catholic theology at the KHKT. On March 2, 2022, Ohly had literally informed the Ingolstadt-based organization that "the financial resources are secured for the period of accreditation". This assurance is necessary so that the only course of study at the KHKT can be re-accredited for the next six years.

Excerpt from the statement of the Cologne University of Catholic Theology of March 2, 2022

Excerpt from the statement of the Cologne University of Catholic Theology of March 2, 2022

Image: FAZ

You can find more excerpts from the statement by the Cologne University of Catholic Theology here.

For Ohly's assurance, however, the approval of several bodies in the archdiocese that are involved in preparing and approving the budget is essential. To date, however, they have not been concerned with the question of financing, although the cardinal no longer has any money at his disposal with which he can keep his prestigious project alive any longer. Ohly and Woelki, as the university's chancellor, clearly violated canon law.

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