Cardinal Reinhard Marx of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising announced on Friday that he has offered Pope Francis his resignation in response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis in Germany. The former president of the German bishops’ conference did not offer to resign from his Vatican appointments, and used the occasion to repeat his support for the controversial synodal path underway in the country.
Marx, who is 67, said he offered the pope his resignation two weeks ago as a means of taking personal responsibility for the “for the catastrophe of the sexual abuse by Church officials over the past decades.”
In his letter, which the archdiocese released in several languages, Marx described the Church in Germany as “at a dead end which, and this is my paschal hope, also has the potential of becoming a turning point.”
Marx wrote to the pope on May 21, saying that while independent investigations into sexual abuse in German dioceses have highlighted institutional and systemic failures, he felt compelled to take personal responsibility for his part in “remaining silent, neglecting to act and over-focussing on the reputation of the Church.”
“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 investigations and reports of the last ten years have consistently shown that there have been many personal failures and administrative mistakes but also institutional or ‘systemic’ failure.”
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