Alfons Beil

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alfons Beil (born September 3, 1896 in Gutenstein an der Donau , † March 1, 1997 in Heidelberg ) was a German Catholic priest. As an author he also wrote under the pseudonym Albert Bieler .


Beil's parents were the master mason Hermann Beil (1854–1925) and Theresia Beil nee Längle (1862–1942); he was the fourth of nine children. In Gutenstein, Beil first attended elementary school up to 7th grade and was then prepared by the local pastor through private lessons for attending secondary school. This was followed in autumn 1910 by attending the lower secondary school of the Progymnasium in Sasbach near Achern ( Lender home school ), from 1914 on he attended the Berthold-Gymnasium in Freiburg im Breisgau ; at that time he lived in the Archbishop's High School Convict. Beil's wish to become a priest was stimulated in his later childhood by his home pastor and preceptor Albert Wilhelm Dufner (1868–1936), who was pastor in Gutenstein from 1902 to 1927. Beil's acquaintance with the political ethicist Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster and reading his work “World Politics and World Conscience” contributed significantly to ripening his decision to become a priest. After the so-called Notabitur in September of 1915 at Berthold High School, located hatchet had at the Theological Faculty of the University of Freiburg enrolled, but was withdrawn shortly thereafter for military service and participated in the First World War in part. In France he experienced the horrors of trench warfare as an officer from July 1916 and was wounded twice - during the Somme battle and the Aisne offensive . He saw the end of the war in Flanders . After that, Beil wanted to start studying theology in Freiburg, but was recommended to the Collegium Germanicum-Hungaricum by the management of the Theological Konvikt, the Collegium Borromaeum . From February 6, 1919 , he began to study in Innsbruck , at the Collegium Canisianum there, where the "Germanicists" were transferred from Rome after Germany and Italy faced each other as enemies in the First World War ; from October 1919 it went back to Rome. At the Pontifical Gregorian University , Beil received his doctorate in philosophy (1921) and theology (1925) and also in Rome he was ordained a priest on October 28, 1924 in the collegiate church (house chapel of the Germanicum) by the vicar general for the city of Rome, Basilio Cardinal Pompili (1858-1931). His first Mass celebrated ax on July 26, 1925 in the St. Gallus church Gutenstein.

Beil u. a. through the writings of the theologian Joseph Wittig ; even if he took a different path in some respects, Beil was and remained a friend of his [Wittig]. As can be read in “Christ in der Gegenwart”, no. 35/76, “Beil belonged first and foremost to that generation who prepared the renewal of the Church, the ' aggiornamento ', in the first half of our century has laid the foundations. ”During his life, Beil stood in the church for the liturgical movement , the ecumenical movement and the Bible movement . As a centenarian, he wrote for the journal “Bible and Liturgy” founded by Pius Parsch .

Although "Germanic", Beil turned down a possible theological-scientific career and went into pastoral care . From August 18, 1925, Beil was vicar in Mosbach for seven years , and from December 13, 1932 spiritual in Freiburg i. Br. ( Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincenz ). On February 8, 1934, he went to Tiefenbach (Landkapitel Bruchsal ) as parish administrator , and from October 15, 1936 he became the first curate at the new St. Albert Church in Heidelberg . On May 9, 1948, Beil was invested there as a pastor. From August 31, 1950 until 1969 he was dean of the Heidelberg chapter. On August 19, 1952, he was appointed ecclesiastical council ad honorem , and on December 13, 1956, Pope Pius XII appointed him . to the papal secret chamberlain ( monsignor ). Beil returned his prelate title, which he never used anyway, as a token of his protest after he learned that the Vatican was planning to use a coadjutor to restrict the leadership of Limburg Bishop Wilhelm Kempf . Beil's like-minded friends included Walter Dirks , Heinrich Philipp Höfler , Johannes Pinsk , Alfons Maria Wachsmann and Max Josef Metzger , sentenced to death and executed by the People's Court under the chairmanship of Roland Freisler . Beil knew him since their joint commitment in and to the ecumenical Una Sancta movement , a movement within the Catholic Church, the dialogue with other Christian denominations sought. Beil maintained a lifelong correspondence and friendship with Metzger's successor in the management of the “Societas Christi Regis” in Meitingen (today the “ Christ the King's Institute ”, a secular institute ), Martha Gertrudis Reimann (1907-2004). But Beil also knew Gustav Radbruch , Otto Regenbogen , Marianne Weber , Martin Dibelius and Werner Böckenförde and his brother Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde personally. Gertrud Luckner , Hermann Maas , Marie Baum and Richard Hauser , who met in 1942 in the “Marienhaus” in Heidelberg to discuss what could be done for those persecuted by the Nazi regime, are to be mentioned as other companions of Beil .

On August 20, 1971, Beil retired as the pastor of St. Albert in Heidelberg to avoid the “Un” retirement in Heidelberg-St. Michael, where he still helped to the best of his ability as a subsidiar pastorally. It was not until 1995, when he moved to the "Mathilde-Vogt-Altenzentrum" in Heidelberg-Kirchheim, where Beil spent the last year of his life, that he finally withdrew from community pastoral care. Beil followed the domestic and foreign press attentively to the end, because in addition to German, he also spoke Latin, Italian, French and English - and he continued to interfere. Beil always went, as Michael Raske had put it (2000), "the path of service in the church and persistent renewal from below". Monsignor Beil died at the age of 101 in Heidelberg, where he was buried on March 6, 1997 in the cross-denominational mountain cemetery, near the so-called “pastor's graves”.


  • On August 19, 1952, Beil was appointed clerical councilor ad honorem by the Archbishop of Freiburg, Wendelin Rauch .
  • On December 13, 1956, Beil was by Pope Pius XII. appointed papal secret chamberlain ( monsignor ).
  • On June 16, 2002, the city of Heidelberg renamed the "Albertusplatz", right next to the St. Albert Church, to "Alfons-Beil-Platz". One reason for this was Beil's “intrepid advocacy for Jewish citizens during the time of their persecution in the Third Reich ”.
  • On November 20, 2007 the local council of Gutenstein decided unanimously to name a street after Beil. The corresponding procedure is running.
  • In November 2008, a “Gutenstein memorial plaque” (A3 format = 297 × 420 mm) was placed on the property of the house at Burgfeldenstrasse 38, the birthplace of Alfons Beil, in Gutenstein.


  • In the archbishopric archive in Freiburg i. Br. Is the personal file of Alfons Beil, as well as the correspondence between Beil and Max Josef Metzger .
  • In the archive of the “Christkönigs-Institut” in Meitingen there are various correspondence (e.g. with the longstanding general manager Martha Gertrudis Reimann), manuscripts and publications by Beil.
  • In the Institute for Contemporary History , Munich - Berlin, the estate of Inge Aicher-Scholl is under the signature ED 474 ; the archive volume 478 there contains u. a. their correspondence with Alfons Beil between 1985 and 1996 (blocked until December 31, 2028).
  • Various photos etc. are in the private possession of a niece Beils, Resi Vögele, in Konstanz.


  • Under the pseudonym Albert Bieler: Again: Romance or Catholicity? : in: Hochland , No. 6/1931, pp. 259–267.
  • In Christ Jesus. From the liturgical community to the living community . Freiburg i. Br .: Caritas-Verlag, 1940. Revised new edition under the title Unity in Love. From the praying church to living community . Kolmar: Alsatia Verlag, 1941. 3rd greatly expanded edition with the same title: Freiburg i. Br .: Lambertus Verlag, 1955.
  • The simplicity of the heart in the light of the Holy Scriptures . Berlin: Christopherus-Verlag, 1947 (licensed edition with permission from Herder Verlag, Freiburg i. Br.).
  • Test the spirits. Attempt on basic religious issues . Heidelberg: FH Kerle Verlag, 1947.
  • Repentance. Thoughts on the Current Trial . Heidelberg-Waibstadt: Kemper Verlag, 1948. (In it, Beil urges the church to examine its own conscience.)
  • The spiritual man ; in: Mario von Galli, Manfred Plate (ed.): Strength and powerlessness. Church and Faith in the Experience of Our Time . Frankfurt am Main: Josef Knecht Verlag, 1963, pp. 249-254. (Further contributions by Walter Dirks , Romano Guardini , Hugo Rahner , Karl Rahner , Reinhold Schneider , Bernhard Welte , Alois Winkelhofer and others)
  • The Catholic community of Heidelberg . Edited by the Archbishop's Deanery Heidelberg by Alfons Beil. Erolzheim: Libertas Verlag for Church and Home Hubert Baum, 1954; 2nd edition 1959; 3rd edition 1963.
  • Meditation as a prerequisite ; in: Alfons Kirchgässner (ed. on behalf of the Liturgical Institute): Our Divine Service - considerations and suggestions. A work book . Freiburg i. Br .: Herder Verlag, 1960, pp. 124-130.
  • Freedom to charisma ; in: Franz Böckle (Ed.): Der Zölibat. Experiences - opinions - suggestions . Mainz: Matthias Grünewald Verlag, 1968, pp. 56–59. Also Spanish edition: El Celibato: Experiencias, Opiones, Sugerencias . Barcelona: Herder Verlag, 1970. Beil's contribution: Libertad para el carisma .
  • Church, where is the way? ; in: Fritz Boll, Manfred Linz, Thomas Seiterich (eds.): Will it work at all? Contributions for Walter Dirks (Festschrift). Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1980. ISBN 3-459-01341-9 . Likewise Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1980, ISBN 3-7867-0857-6 , pp. 263-268.
  • Hauser, Franz Josef Richard, Prof. Dr. theol. ; in: "Necrologium Friburgense 1976–1980". In: Freiburger Diözesan-Archiv 102 (1982), pp. 134-252; here: p. 229 f. (Obituary for Richard Hauser).
  • Max Josef Metzger in peace work: experiences with a friend and memories of him ; in: Rupert Feneberg , Rainer Öhlschläger (Ed.): Max Josef Metzger: On the way to a peace council . (Hohenheim Protocols, Vol. 22.) Stuttgart: Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, 1987; Pp. 20-27. ISBN 3-926297-02-6 .
  • What renewal was it about? ; in: Stadt Schopfheim (Hrsg.): For the peace of the world and the unity of the church (book accompanying the exhibition Dr. Max Josef Metzger). Text editing: Klaus Schubring. Schopfheim-Fahrnau: Rünzi printer, 1987; Pp. 53-55. ISBN 3-926431-00-8 .
  • I want a Pope who will make a full confession of guilt on behalf of the Church (John Paul II); in: Thomas Seiterich (Ed.): Letters to the Pope: Prayer alone is not enough . Ein Publik-Forum -buch / rororo aktuell No. 12140. Reinbek: Rowohlt Verlag, 1987; Pp. 180-185. ISBN 3-499-12140-9 .
  • Out of my life. Experiences, testimonials and questions . Heidelberg: Selbstverlag, 1989. (Beil's 497-page memoirs were sent to friends and acquaintances in a typewritten manuscript in paperback at the suggestion of friends. In the following years, Beil had similar supplements, including current comments on current affairs , added: Aggiornamento I-XI, the latter from 1995 with a final word to the readers.)
  • For a new priestly image ; in: Bernhard Marz (Ed.): Everything for God? To be a priest between aspiration and reality . Düsseldorf: Patmos Verlag, 1990; Pp. 29-41. (Further contributions by Carlo Carretto , Eugen Drewermann , Herbert Falken , Rainer-M. Von Gelheim , Alfons Kraus , Johannes Leppich and others) ISBN 3-491-72231-4 .
Radio contributions
  • Between July 5, 1977 and August 9, 1977, the Südwestrundfunk Baden-Baden broadcast six episodes by Alfons Beil as an author and speaker on his “life experiences”.


  • Theodor Maas-Ewerd : The crisis of the liturgical movement in Germany and Austria. Studies on the disputes over the "liturgical question" in the years from 1939 to 1944 (Studies on Pastoral Liturgy, Volume 3). Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 1981. ISBN 3-7917-0589-X .
  • Thomas Seiterich-Kreuzkamp: Hope against hope. Visit to the 97 year old Catholic church reformer Alfons Beil in Heidelberg ; in: Publik-Forum - Newspaper Critical Christians No. 11, Oberursel, June 10, 1994; Pp. 32-35, ISSN  0343-1401 .
  • Frank Moraw, Rainer Ast: Snatch as much of the personal experience as possible from oblivion ... The word of an intrepid Christian - conversation with former dean Dr. Afons Beil (RNZ series: Revolt of Conscience - VIII); in: Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung No. 110, Heidelberg, 13./14. May 1995; P. 33.
  • Michael Raske : contemporary of the century. Alfons Beil - witness of hope against all hope - (Rom 4:18) will be 100 years old ; in: Imprimatur. News and critical opinions from the Catholic Church issue 5/6, 1996, pp. 226–228, ISSN  0946-3178 .
  • Georg Haas: A life and death from hope. On the death of old dean Dr. Alfons Beil - A real pastor in the service of the people - Today Eucharistic celebration and burial ; in: Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung No. 54, Heidelberg, March 6, 1997; P. 6.
  • Joachim Duration: Nekrolog Alfons Beil ; in: Korrespondenzblatt Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum , Roma, 106 (1997); Pp. 151-152.
  • Clemens Siebler: Beil, Alfons, Dr. phil. et theol. ; in: Necrologium Friburgense , in: Freiburger Diözesan-Archiv 116, 1996, pp. 133–135.
  • Ulrich von Hehl , Christoph Kösters (ed.): Priests under Hitler's terror. A biographical and statistical survey . Paderborn: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 1998 (4th ed., Vol. 1 & Vol. 2). ISBN 3-506-79839-1 .
  • Michael Raske: "Wittig is a prophet": An early encounter with Joseph Wittig. (From Alfons Beil's diary entries) ; in: Josef Hainz (ed.): Farewell to the God of theologians: In memory of Joseph Wittig (1879–1949) - fifty years after his death . Kelkheim-Eppenheim: self-published, 2000; Pp. 93-117.
  • Joachim Maier: Upright for a whole century. The Heidelberg pastor Alfons Beil (1896–1997) ; in: Alwin Hanschmidt , Bernd Ulrich Hucker (eds.): Personality and current events: Contributions to the history of the 17th to the 20th century; Ceremony for Joachim Kuropka on the occasion of his 60th birthday (publications of the Institute for History and Historical Research; Vol. 10). Vechta: Verlag Eiswasser, 2001; Pp. 183-203, ISBN 3-924143-41-2 .
  • Joachim Maier: Working for peace and human rights. Alfons Beils left a lasting legacy ; in: “Church on the Way” (Heidelberger Kirchenblatt) 6th year, No. 5, May 2003; P. 6.
  • Fridolin & Ursula Scholz (eds.): 70 years of St. Albert 1934–2004. An attempt at a chronicle - a review (compiled and edited by Wilfried Lichtenberger & Fridolin Scholz). Leer: Rautenberg Druck, 2006. ISBN 3-7921-0643-4 .
  • Ursula Mallkowsky: Monsignore's roots are in Gutenstein: In 1997 the philosopher and theologian Alfons Beil died at the age of 101 - active in [the] parish pastoral care until 1995 ; in: “Südkurier” No. 51, Konstanz, March 2, 2007; P. 27.

Web links