Anselm Günthör

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Anselm Günthör OSB (born March 16, 1911 in Friedrichshafen as Walter Paul Günthör ; † February 1, 2015 in Altshausen ) was a German Benedictine monk and Roman Catholic moral theologian . He held the chair of moral and pastoral theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo .


Günthör was one of seven children of a customs officer. In 1923 he entered the monastery school of the Weingarten monastery, which had been repopulated the previous year, and in 1929 passed his Abitur at the high school in Ravensburg . In the same year he entered the Weingarten monastery as a novice and received the religious name Anselm . He studied philosophy for two years in Maria Laach and then theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome. He completed his studies there with a doctorate.

In 1935 he was ordained a priest by Bishop Joannes Baptista Sproll in Weingarten . After the Weingarten monastery was dissolved by the National Socialist regime, he worked for three years as a hospital chaplain in the parish of St. Georg in Ulm . Then he returned to Weingarten, where he was pastor of the Basilica parish of St. Martin from 1943 to 1952.

In 1952 he followed a call to the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome, where he taught moral and pastoral theology until 1971 . After his retirement in Rome, he first taught at the Theological College of the Salesians Don Bosco in Benediktbeuern , before returning to Weingarten in 1983. There he worked as a preacher and speaker for a long time. From 1983 to 2009 he was also a hospital chaplain at the “14 Nothelfer” hospital in Weingarten. After the abbey was dissolved in October 2010, he moved to the St. Josef retirement home in Altshausen, where he died in 2015 at the age of 103.

Moral theological approach

In terms of content, Günthör represented a salvation-historical-personal approach in the presentation of the Catholic moral doctrine: Fundamentally is the being addressed by God in love, from which the human being is able to give an answer of love in freedom by keeping the commandments of God and lives morally well. But he can also refuse this positive answer ( sin ), whereby the invitation to repentance always remains on the part of God as long as man lives on earth. The methodical implementation of his moral theology follows an integrative understanding: on the basis of scripture, tradition and ecclesiastical teaching office, ecclesiastical teaching is raised and these are then related to knowledge of the human sciences and philosophical conceptions. Günthör tried to work out the truth moment of conflicting viewpoints.

Position on the world religions

In his work, Are All Religions Equal? he dealt critically with the syncretism of the world religions and named differences and similarities between Christianity , Hinduism , Buddhism and Islam . Anselm Günthör saw the crucial difference between Christianity and Islam in the concept of God. Günthör assumed that Islam misinterpreted the doctrine of the Trinity (“The creator of heaven and earth, where should He have a child where He has no mate?” Sura 6,101). In relation to Hinduism, he noticed a “sharp difference” between the Christian hope for perfection in communion with the Triune God and the Hindu belief in man's perdition in the deity “like salt in water”.

Works (selection)

  • The 7 pseudoathanasian dialogues. A work by Didymus the Blind of Alexandria (= Studia Anselmiana, Fasc. 11), SALER, Rome 1941
  • The sermon. Theoretical and practical theological guidance . Herder, Freiburg 1963
  • Decision against the law. The position of the church, Karl Barth and Helmut Thielicke on the ethics of the situation . Pastoral care publishing house, Freiburg 1969
  • Call and answer. Handbook of Catholic Moral Theology . 3 volumes. Patris-Verlag, Vallendar-Schoenstatt 1993
  • Pope Benedict XVI to the problems of our time. Fe-Medienverlag, Kißlegg 2006, ISBN 978-3-928929-99-8
  • My life in turbulent times. Memories with a view to the present . Fe-Medienverlag, Kißlegg 2000, ISBN 3-928929-28-3 , 2nd edition 2008, ISBN 3-939684-27-9
  • Is Europe becoming godless? De-Christianization and re-Christianization . Fe-Medienverlag, Kißlegg 2003

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Walter Rundel: Father will soon be 100 years old . In: Südkurier , September 4, 2010
  2. ^ A b c Anton Wassermann: A moral theologian in the service of pastoral care. Father Anselm Günthör died in Altshausen at the age of 103 . In: Schwäbische Zeitung . Local edition Ravensburg, February 4, 2015, p. 19
  3. a b Peter Engelhardt: Benedictine Abbey: Father Anselm a nineties . In: Schwäbische Zeitung , March 9, 2001
  4. ^ Obituary of the hospital 14 Nothelfer, Schwäbische Zeitung, local edition Ravensburg, February 6, 2015, p. 21
  5. Anselm Günthör: Are all religions the same? Fe-Medienverlag, Kißlegg 2007, ISBN 978-3-939684-12-1 .