The Spiritual Family The Work

Press Release: Fr. Geissler is acquitted.

On May 15, 2019, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature acquitted Father Hermann Geissler, FSO, of charges made against him by Mrs. Doris Reisinger. Mrs Reisinger, a former member of the Spiritual Family The Work from 2003 to 2011, publicly accused Fr Hermann Geissler FSO of sexual encroachment in the context of confession. As stated in a Press Release published by the Holy See on January 29, 2019, Fr. Geissler resigned from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “to limit the damage already done to the Congregation and to his Community”. He emphasized “that the accusation made against him is untrue”, asked “that the canonical process already initiated continue”, and added that he also reserved “the right for possible civil legal action”.

The canonical process, aimed at clarifying the question whether this case constitutes a delict of solicitation to a sin against the sixth commandment in the context of confession (cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 1387), was undertaken by a papal mandate. The case was submitted to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature rather than the per se competent Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On May 15, 2019, after a preliminary investigation according to Canon 1717, a panel of five judges unanimously decided that the above-mentioned case does not constitute a delict. This decision was communicated to Fr. Geissler in a letter signed by Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, Prefect, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, Secretary (Prot. N. 54121/19 CG). Fr. Geissler is acquitted.
Fr. Georg Gantioler FSO
Press officer
Press Release of the Apostolic Signature, May 17, 2019 (in italian)