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Disgraced president retreats to monastery
Photo: DPA

Disgraced president retreats to monastery

Published: 11 Mar 2012 10:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Mar 2012 10:51 GMT+01:00

Ex-President Christian Wulff has gone on a temporary monastic retreat, according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Allegations of corruption in the past months have taken their toll, sources high up in Berlin political circles said.

Wulff is said to have interrupted his stay at an unknown Catholic monastery for his farewell ceremony in Berlin last Thursday evening, which was marred by demonstrators blowing vuvuzela horns and the marked absence of 160 of the 390 invited guests.

Wulff is deeply religious and has long been active in the "Pro Christ" movement. In 2007, while state premier of Lower Saxony he travelled to Rome for a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

The former president has also used the time out to undergo a full health check, according to the report. On February 23, he was admitted to a Berlin military hospital with acute renal colic.

"We get visits from many people who are insecure and unsettled, or whose lives are going through a tremendous upheaval," Father August Hülsmann of the Herz-Jesu Monastery in Neustadt an der Weinstraße in Rhineland-Palatinate told Bild am Sonntag.

Hülsmann said he reads the Bible with his guests, walks through the forest with them, talks and listens to them. He said that an increasing number of people were in need of this kind of healing.

Meanwhile, the political storm over the Wulff allegations goes on. On Sunday politicians from ruling and opposition parties called for the former president to refrain from claiming staff and office expenses.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the Wulff-bashing had gone too far. "You don’t kick a man when he's down," he told the Passauer Neue Presse on Saturday.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:48 March 11, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
What a hypocrite.

>Wulff is deeply religious and has long been active in the "Pro Christ" movement.

This is one reason why I detest people like him. Holier-than-thou types - who are themselves, according to their own standards by which they never tire to judge the rest of us, the worst and biggest sinners of them all.

If he really were such a pious, virtuous man, he never would have engaged in his shady secret deals to begin with, he wouldn't have been such a freeloader and sponge... and he especially wouldn't have screwed his now-wife Bettina after his ex-wife's back... and wouldn't have ditched his first wife and their daughter for somebody else.

How do you square that with your "deep religous beliefs", Mr. Wulff?
13:03 March 11, 2012 by Englishted
Who is paying for his up grade this time ?.

He wants a suite nearer to god.
14:48 March 11, 2012 by raandy
Now it is all in God's hand. good move exlax
15:24 March 11, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Where I come from, that stuff is called "shopping spree".
17:58 March 11, 2012 by twisted
Obviously the man has a lot to think about. Cut him some slack. I do, however, think he should forego 69% of the pension and all of the other benefits. He did not serve a full term...therefore, he did not earn them.
20:25 March 11, 2012 by bjerkebek
How does a devout Catholic divorce his wife so he can marry his new young pretty wife? Sounds like he needs to just grow up. He made some very stupid mistakes and quibbling over some rules to keep his pension is crap.

Sympathetic? Not so much.
08:28 March 12, 2012 by hereward
This is real creative thought,"taking the veil"after being caught with your hands in the till,it is an expansion of what b-liar did upon leaving office,"becomming a catholic",no-one told him about buckfast abbey,otherwise he might have bought that too,"oh lord make me good ,but not today"
12:58 March 12, 2012 by cheeba
god is forgiving, but the Germans are not.
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