"Cardinal Woelki prevails in court," announced the press office of the Archdiocese of Cologne.
That's only half the truth, because the 28th civil chamber of the district court in Cologne has issued two judgments in the matter of Rainer Maria Woelki against "Bild".
In one case Woelki won, in the other he lost.
The newspaper can no longer claim that the archbishop promoted an "abusive priest" and "sex offender" because the deputy city dean, who has since been replaced, did not confess to child abuse but to contact with a young prostitute.
On the other hand, the Chamber considers the speculation made in the title of another article that all German bishops could resign because of the "Woelki scandal" to be permissible.
The chamber has set two further announcement dates with the same parties for June 8th and 22nd.
The Archdiocese has already announced that it will appeal to the Higher Regional Court against the verdict on the "Woelki scandal";
the cardinal is represented by the law firm of Ralf Höcker.
Halving the truth in the press office headline is not scandalous in itself;
the Archdiocese is acting like any other company trying to save its reputation.
The text of the press release also mentions the unfavorable verdict, omitting the court's considerations relevant to the public's judgment.
The abuse scandal is undisputed
"Woelki scandal" takes it as a short version of the term "abuse and cover-up scandal" used in the article text, for which there is a sufficient starting point: the reprimand of Woelkis by the Pope.
The Chamber classifies the conceptual definition of the scandalous as unobjectionable;
"Image" formulated in this respect without typical boulevard exaggerations.
It is indisputable, according to the chamber verbatim, that there is an abuse scandal in the church.
This was also covered up.
This is based on the undisputed fact that an expert opinion on this was not published.
It was Woelki who ordered the report from a Munich law firm not to be published.
The regional court now attributes this to him as a cover-up.
In this assessment of the facts, the fact that Woelki took into account legal concerns that other lawyers had raised with regard to the personal rights of officials in the archdiocese fell under the judge's table.
After Woelki's undisputed statement, he wanted to prevent a blockage of the reconnaissance with a second, watertight report.
This legal strategy, which failed in public opinion, does not even find resonance in the legal system itself.
The hope of the cardinal and his advisors of being able to bring the scandal under control through legal narrowing appears to be unworldly.
The objectivity of legal language in particular gives rise to the suspicion that the legal process serves other interests.
The press office quotes Woelki with two sentences of satisfaction at his semi-victory.
"This false reporting made me feel so violated in my personal rights, which a cardinal is also entitled to, that I simply had to take action against it." It is always tricky when an official sues for the protection of privacy and also claims that he had no choice .
Woelki does not say that as Archbishop of Cologne he could not have stopped reporting.
He takes the matter so personally that he puts the talk of the Woelki scandal into law.Keywords: