In a letter to Pope, German archbishop offers resignation
Due to the catastrophe of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, the Church reached a “dead end”, he says.
Due to the catastrophe of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Germany’s most senior cleric, wrote a letter to Pope Francis, offering his resignation as Archbishop of Munich and Freising last month, and claiming “a shared responsibility” over sexual abuse by Church members. German
In the letter released by the Archdiocese on Friday, the Cardinal wrote that “these are times of crisis for the Church in Germany,” which has to some extent been caused by the Church’s own “failure” and “guilt”.
"I feel that, through remaining silent, neglecting to act and over-focussing on the reputation of the Church, I have made myself personally guilty and responsible.
In essence, it is important to me to share the responsibility for the catastrophe of the sexual abuse by Church officials over the past decades".
The Church has reached a “dead end” which, he hopes, has the potential to become a “turning point”, the Cardinal added.
The Cardinal points to investigations and reports on abuse over the past decade which, he says, apart from many personal and administrative failures, exposed institutional or “systemic” failure. He laments the fact that some members of the Church refuse to believe that there is a shared responsibility, and also insists it’s wrong to “bury” the problem with an assertion that it’s all in the past.
The Catholic Church has been embroiled in similar sexual-abuse scandals in a number of countries around the world, including Ireland, France, the US and Australia.
In March this year, another report exposed that hundreds of children, mostly boys under the age of 14, had been sexually abused between 1975 and 2018 in the Catholic diocese of Cologne and that Church officials failed in their duties. Last month, Pope Francis ordered a review of whether the Catholic Church in Cologne had made errors in handling the allegations. Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki said in March that “silence, secrecy and lack of oversight” had created a system that allowed for a “cover-up” of abuse.
In his letter, Cardinal Marx, who has been a priest for 42 years and a bishop for almost 25 years, “strongly requested” the Pope to accept his resignation. According to the Resignations and Appointments section on the Vatican’s website, as of June 4 Pope Francis has not yet accepted the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx. German
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