|Dom Josef Vollberg, O.C.S.O.|
In a letter to friends of the Abbey of Mariawald, O.C.S.O. published by Gloria.tv, Abbot Josef Vollberg has announced that he is resigning as abbot. As his reason Dom Vollberg states that he takes this step in order to avoid "the risk... that the abbey could be closed against the will of the community." The abbey will now be ruled by its pater immediatus, Abbot Bernardus Peeters of the Abbey of Koningshoeven in the Netherlands. Abbot Bernardus has appointed Dom Josef to serve as prior of the community after his resignation as abbot comes into effect on the first Sunday of Advent.
Our readers will recall that under Dom Josef's rule Mariawald has returned to all the traditions of the Trappist order before the "reforms" following the council (see e.g. Rorate's translation of an interview granted by Dom Josef to the Tagespost). In the letter announcing his resignation Dom Josef states:
The new configuration will allow us, insofar as necessary, to give better care to the older monks, with the help of Dom Bernardus. The younger monks have received explicit blessing and benevolent assent of the pater immediatus to continue the way of tradition with me as prior.