Investigation Against Schoenborn And Maasburg Discontinued
Good news (rara avis) from Austria.
I have written yesterday that a criminal investigation against both Cardinal Schoenborn and the director of the Pontifical Mission Society, Dr. Leo Maasburg, had started. I remind you here of how things work in Continental Europe: the police cannot stop, or decide not to start, a criminal investigation; whenever an individual files charges against someone, an investigation must start. If it turns out that there is no crime, the investigation is then discontinued (or as they say in Italy, “archived”).
This is what has happened (with laudable speed, I must add) in the case mentioned above. Vienna’s Staatsanwaltschaft (the prosecution office) has now made publicly known that the investigation has been discontinued for the following reasons:
a) statute of limitations
b) facts did not constitute a criminal behaviour in the first place.
This is good news, as the principle that a quisque de populo can wake up, say, fifteen years after a fact and say that the one or other religious should have done more on this or that occasion, and that by not doing so he has acted criminally, has not been accepted. Besides the obvious fact of the statute of limitations (which as an institution does make sense, even if at times it hurts the feelings of the most sensitive souls), it stands to reason that it isn’t reasonable to expect from a third party a behaviour (going to the police and filing charges) that one is free, but not willing to put in place oneself.
In this case, the behaviour of the woman who filed the charges is – as it transpires from kath.net, unfortunately in German – even more absurd than that, but I spare you the embarrassing details.
In my alarm, I have written yesterday:
if what has happened justifies a criminal case God save us all: every adult would now be able to come out and ask for money because hey, twenty years ago he mentioned something to a priest and he hey, did not run immediately to the police. A nightmare.
I am now glad to report that reason has not only prevailed, but that it has prevailed with great speed.
Kudos to the Austrian prosecutors for acting so speedily.