German Catholic Church leader resigns over ‘sexual abuse disaster’

(CNN) – Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the Catholic Church in Germany, wrote a letter to Pope Francis urging him to resign as archbishop of Munich and Freezing, with the Catholic Church issuing “shared responsibility for the devastation of sexual abuse” on Friday.

“In essence, it is important that I share the responsibility for the catastrophe that church officials have sexually abused over the past several decades,” Marx wrote to the Pope in a letter dated May 21.

“Investigations and reports over the last ten years have consistently shown that there have been many personal failures and administrative errors, but there have also been institutional or‘ formal ’failures,” he said.

According to the Archbishop of Munich, Pope Francis has told Cardinal Marx to continue his episcopal ministry until a decision is made.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx

The statement added that Marx had “reconsidered his resignation in recent months”.

“It has always been painful for me to have done so much damage to the reputation of bishops in secular and secular terms, and it may be so little at all times,” Marx said.

“By being quiet, by ignoring the act, and by focusing more on the reputation of the church, I have personally made myself guilty and responsible,” he added.

Speaking at the historic Vatican summit in February 2019, Marx acknowledged that documents containing evidence of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church had been destroyed or never amended.

“Archives that could document horrific events and name those responsible have been destroyed or created,” Marx said.

“Procedures and procedures prescribed for prosecution are not deliberately followed … Such standard procedures make it clear that the church is not open to harm, but abuse, lack of transparency, or consequent cover-up”.

At a press conference during the summit, Marx said information about the destruction of the archives came from a study commissioned in 2014 by German bishops. The study was “scientific” and did not name the leaders of the particular church or diocese. In Germany they destroyed files.

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Esmond Harmon

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