Major bishop resigns from German Catholic Church



Major bishop resigns from German Catholic Church

The German Catholic Church has been rocked by a new crisis following the shocking resignation of one of its most influential bishops in the wake of the Church’s sexual abuse scandal.

“Essentially, for me, it’s about sharing the responsibility for the catastrophe of sexual abuse by church officials over the past decades,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx wrote to the Pope in a letter released Friday.

Former president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Marx is one of the country’s most influential religious leaders.

The German Catholic Church is one of the richest in the world.

Marx, the Bishop of Munich, said surveys and expert reports over the past 10 years have consistently shown that there have been “a lot of personal failures and administrative errors”, but “also institutional or systemic failures “.

Marx’s letter was sent to the Pope almost a fortnight ago but was not made public until Friday.

His resignation offer came after the Pope intervened last month in the scandal that engulfed the Catholic Church in Cologne by ordering a review of the West German city’s handling of a sexual abuse scandal.

Pope plans to send so-called apostolic visit to Germany‘s largest diocese this month to investigate ‘possible mistakes’ made by Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki in handling allegations of sexual misconduct by priests.

Marx described in a newspaper interview last year the decision not to publish an investigation into clergy sexual abuse undertaken by the Archdiocese of Cologne as “devastating” for the entire Catholic Church.

An expert report on cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising is expected to be completed in the coming months, with investigation into how sexual abuse by priests in the diocese was possible and whether high-ranking clergymen protected the perpetrators.

In his letter to the Pope, Marx said he had repeatedly considered resigning from his post in recent months.

“The events and discussions of the past few weeks only play a secondary role in this regard,” Marx wrote, saying his resignation plan was a very personal decision.

“I want to be clear: I am ready to take personal responsibility, not only for my own mistakes, but for the church as an institution, which I have helped shape and shape for decades.

Marx plans to continue his work as a bishop until a decision is made on his resignation. (dpa / NAN)


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