Kurt Krenn

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The former bishop of St. Pölten, Kurt Krenn (1992)

Kurt Krenn (born June 28, 1936 in Neustift im Mühlkreis , Upper Austria ; † January 25, 2014 in Gerersdorf , Lower Austria ) was an Austrian clergyman . He became auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Vienna in 1987 and was bishop of St. Pölten from 1991 to 2004 .


Kurt Krenn was born on June 28, 1936 in Rannariedl in the municipality of Neustift im Mühlkreis in Upper Austria, the second of six children to Karl and Leopoldine Krenn. His father, the teacher Karl Krenn, died in World War II.

After attending primary school in Oberkappel and graduating from high school at Schlierbach Abbey , Krenn entered the seminary in Linz in 1954 and studied philosophy and theology at the Gregorian and canon law at the Lateran University in Rome from 1955 to 1965 . He was ordained a priest on October 7, 1962 in the Church of Sant'Ignazio in Rome and then worked as a pastor in a parish near Rome. After studying in Tübingen and Munich, where he worked as an assistant at the theological faculty from 1966 to 1970, he was professor of philosophy at the Philosophical-Theological University in Linz from 1970 to 1975 . In 1975 he was appointed full professor to the chair for systematic theology at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Regensburg .

On March 3, 1987, Krenn was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Vienna (as episcopal vicar for art, culture and science) and titular bishop of Aulon by Pope John Paul II . Even before Krenn's first public statements, there were protests against his appointment, which intensified during his episcopal ordination on April 26, 1987 and led to the founding of the critical journal Kirche intern . As auxiliary bishop, Krenn expressed understanding for the anti-Semitic cult surrounding Anderl von Rinn, who was allegedly murdered by Jews . With the Bishop of Feldkirch, Klaus Küng , the former regional vicar (head) of Opus Dei in Austria, he headed the restorative group in the Austrian Bishops' Conference . As the person responsible for the pastoral care of students , he handed over the Karlskirche in Vienna to Opus Dei and worked on the German book series "Sinn und Sendung" ( EOS-Verlag ) , which was overseen by Opus Dei priests .

On July 11, 1991, John Paul II was appointed bishop of the diocese of St. Pölten, and his inauguration took place on September 15 of the same year. Krenn was chairman of the finance commission of the Austrian Bishops' Conference and assigned departmental bishop for sport. In addition, he was a welcome guest in the media and often appeared on talk shows and panel discussions of German and Austrian television companies. He also oversaw a column in the Austrian daily newspaper Kronen Zeitung under the pseudonym Christianus . He opposed Turkey's accession to the EU , warned against the “ Islamization of Europe” and declared that reason was “not the line” of this religion and that terrorism “always had something to do with Islam .” He also vehemently condemned abortions and Divorces . He was positive about Jörg Haider , the former chairman of the FPÖ . He rejected the dialogue for Austria because its demands were "simply non-Catholic". He also spoke out against female acolytes . In 1995 he established the community of St. Joseph in his diocese and was a member of the angel work . He accepted the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary (SJM) and members of the angel work into the diocese. The German bishops of Augsburg and Bamberg had not allowed the SJM order to establish its general council in their dioceses. Krenn, on the other hand, allowed him to officially settle in the Auhof Castle near Blindenmarkt .

In autumn 2003 a scandal broke out in the seminary of the diocese of St. Pölten over the download of child pornographic photos. In addition, there were rumors of homosexual relationships in the seminary, which were later confirmed as well. Because of the scandal and the controversial reaction of Bishop Krenn, who described the events in the seminary as "booby stupidities", the Vorarlberg Bishop Klaus Küng was appointed to investigate the allegations as Apostolic Visitator . The seminary was temporarily closed by decree of 11 August 2004 by Krenn “in agreement with the Apostolic Visitator and with the Congregation for Catholic Education ”. On September 29, 2004, Krenn resigned from his episcopal office at the request of Pope John Paul II , but without confirming the allegations himself. The Apostolic Visitator Klaus Küng was finally appointed the new bishop of the diocese. He reversed some of Krenn's most controversial orders, for example the legally pronounced, but never enforced recall of Udo Fischer , pastor of Paudorf who was critical of Krenn , due to the refusal of the responsible abbot Clemens Lashofer .

After his resignation, he lived withdrawn from the public and increasingly had to struggle with health problems. He died on January 25, 2014 after a long illness in the care station of the monastery of the Servants of the Immaculate in Gerersdorf near St. Pölten, where he had been cared for for the past few years. Krenn was buried in the bishop's crypt of St. Pölten Cathedral .



  • Mediation and Difference? On the meaning of being in the state of participation in St. Thomas Aquinas . Analecta Gregoriana (Cura Pontificae Universitatis Gregorianae edita), Vol. 121. Series Facultatis Philosophicae: sectio B, n.10, Libreria Editrice dell'Università Gregoriana, Roma 1962
  • The real reality of God: God in the language of today's problems . (Treatises on Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology of Religion and Ecumenism, New Series, Vol. 30), Schöningh, Munich, Paderborn, Vienna 1974, ISBN 3-506-70180-0
  • The scholastic method as an anthropological presentation of the truth . In: Theologie und Glaube 64 (1974) 411 ff and 65 (1975) 99 ff
  • The "systematic" in theology . In: Theologie und Glaube 66 (1976) 300 ff
  • Catholicism and the Philosophy of German Idealism . In: Albrecht Langner (Ed.): Catholicism and philosophical currents in Germany . (Proceedings [Oct. 1981] of the working group “German Catholicism in the 19th and 20th Centuries”), Schöningh, Paderborn 1982, ISBN 3506707388
  • The relationship between instrumental and essential reason as the problem of metaphysics in theology. A contribution to the study of philosophy in theology studies . In: Forum Katholische Theologie 1 (1985), 264–285
  • Commonality of Dignity - Diversity of Service. On the theological rationality of the difference between priest and layperson . In: Jürgen Liminski u. a .: The hour of the layman. Lay people and priests 20 years after the council . St. Ottilien 1987, 107-145
  • The principle of person in church and hierarchy. Ceremonial lecture for Bishop Josef Stimpfle on October 29, 1988 in Augsburg . In: Forum Katholische Theologie 5 (1989), 51-65
  • Faith and Church Today . "Der 13." newspaper, Kleinzell 1989
  • On the situation of today's theology in view of a new evangelization of Europe . "Der 13." newspaper, Kleinzell 1989
  • Man's knowledge and experience of God as Mary's theological paradigm . In: Anna Coreth and Ildefons Fux (eds.): Servitium Pietatis. Festschrift for Hans Hermann Cardinal Groer on his 70th birthday . Salterrae, Maria Roggendorf 1989, 68-88
  • With Erwin Möde : Priest training and depth psychology . (Ed. Psychosymbolik), Munich 1990, ISBN 3-925350-32-2
  • God's image in nothing? In: U. Zöller (Ed. :) The future of our life. Answers to Death . Aschaffenburg 1991, 86-90
  • The theological concept of guilt . In: HW Kaluza u. a. (Ed. :) Faith and Politics. Festschrift for Robert Prantner . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1991, 41-52
  • "Whoever listens to them hears Christ, and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ." Thoughts on the consecration and office of the bishop . In: Eugen Kleindienst and Georg Schmuttermayr (eds. :) Church in Coming. Festschrift for Bishop Josef Stimpfle . Propylaea, Berlin 1991, 531-552
  • Words on the way. Thoughts of a Pastor of the Church . Compiled and edited by Werner Schmid. St. Josef, Kleinhain 1999 (2nd edition), ISBN 3901853049
  • Capax Dei. Man's God ability. Philosophical Aspects . St. Josef, Kleinhain 2013, ISBN 978-3-901853-27-2
  • Christianus. 50 lines with God , ed. by Rudolf Födermayr, Oberkappel 2015, ISBN 978-3-200-04173-8


  • Hubert Wachter: Kurt Krenn. God's brazen fist . Orac Verlag, 1993, ISBN 3701503001
  • Norbert Stanzel: The Scourge of God. Bishop Kurt Krenn and the church crisis . Molden, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-85485-030-1
  • Peter Hertel : Guardian of the Faith. Catholic traditionalists in German-speaking countries, Echter, Würzburg 2000, ISBN 3-429-02279-7
  • Josef Kreiml u. a. (Ed.): Committed to the truth. Festschrift for em. Diocesan Bishop Prof. Dr. Kurt Krenn on his 70th birthday . Ares-Verlag , Graz 2006, ISBN 3-902475-24-2
  • Ildefons Fux, a new auxiliary bishop for Vienna. Reminder of the appointment and consecration of Kurt Krenn , Oberkappel 2017

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. St. Pölten's former bishop Krenn has died , on kathisch.at, accessed on June 16, 2020
  2. Petra Stuiber: God's brave ball lightning. Die Welt of July 20, 2004
  3. a b Peter Hertel: Guardian of the Faith. Catholic traditionalists in German-speaking countries, Echter, Würzburg 2000, ISBN 3-429-02279-7 , p. 131.
  4. Bishop Krenn warns against the Islamization of Europe: 'Islam is an aggressive religion.'
  5. Kurt Krenn: Controversial "Representative of God's Truth". January 25, 2014
  6. Last honor for militant old bishop. kurier.at, February 8, 2014
  7. Manfred Rebhandl: In Austria everyone lives on their island. In: Welt.de. December 15, 2017, accessed April 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Gudula Walterskirchen : Diocese of St. Pölten: Geheime Hochschule and Engelwerk. kath.ch , August 3, 2004
  9. Peter Hertel: Guardian of the Faith. Catholic traditionalists in German-speaking countries, Echter, Würzburg 2000, ISBN 3-429-02279-7 , p. 160 f.
  10. ^ Controversial former bishop Krenn dies ( Memento from January 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  11. St. Pölten Old Bishop Kurt Krenn has died. Article on derstandard.at from January 25, 2014: Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  12. News ( Memento of March 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), on stjosef.at, accessed on January 25, 2014.
  13. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)