- Pope Francis did not accept the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising.
- This is what the head of the Catholic Church wrote in a letter published by the Holy See.
The German clergyman, an important figure in the Church of the World, published a letter to the Pope last Friday in which he submitted his resignation over the abuse scandal.
“And that is exactly my answer, dear brother. Continue what you are proposing, but as Archbishop of Munich and Freising,” the head of the Catholic Church wrote in a letter to Marx now published by the Holy See. “I agree with you that we are dealing with a catastrophe: the sad history of sexual abuse and the way you dealt with it. The Church is with her until recently,” Francis continued.
Marx, 67, had tendered his resignation in a letter to Pope Francis on May 21. So Francis must decide to “use it again”. Marx’s request caused an uproar in the Catholic Church. Marx was president of the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) from 2014 to 2020.
In April 2013, Francis appointed him to the eight-member Council of Cardinals, which advised him on the reform of the Curia in Rome. A little later, Marx appointed coordinator of a newly created economic council in the Vatican.
Marx is considered a reformer among the Catholic bishops of Germany. He also took part in the Catholic Church’s reformist debate, the “Conciliar Method”. Marx received recognition from many in the Catholic Church for his move. His successor as president of DBK, Bishop George Patsingh, showed understanding of the decision.
Abuse scandals lead to resignations
An expert opinion on sexual assault issues is expected in the diocese of Munich and Freising this summer, which will work primarily on how sexual assault of priests occurs in the diocese and whether high-ranking clergy protect the perpetrators.
Abuse scandals in the Catholic Church in Germany amplified the exodus that had been felt for decades. In 2019, 272,771 departures were recorded. Currently, about 27 percent of the German population still belongs to the Catholic Church, and the number of active churchgoers is much smaller.
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