Pope Francis calls on all bishops to take responsibility for cases of abuse and rejects the resignation of a German Cardinal.
In response to the sex abuse scandal in the German Church, Pope Francis declined to allow Cardinal Reinhard Marx to resign on Thursday, instead stating that a reform process was required and that every bishop must bear responsibility for the situation’ “catastrophe.”
According to the Associated Press, Francis responded in a letter to Marx’s startling declaration that Marx would resign as archbishop of Munich and Freising owing to the church’s mishandling of abuse cases.
Francis, on the other hand, refused Marx’s resignation, telling him (one of his closest aides) that he must “shepherd my sheep” and continue as archbishop.
He went on to say that the church required a reform process “that does not consist in words but in attitudes that have the fortitude to put oneself in crisis, to accept truth regardless of the consequences.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Francis’ letter appeared to give Marx papal support for the German Church’s divisive reform process, which began in response to the abuse epidemic.
The “Synodal Path” has met with considerable opposition in Germany and elsewhere, particularly from conservatives opposed to any discussion of clerical celibacy, women’s role in the church, or homosexuality.
The rapidity with which Francis turned down Marx’s offer to resign was unusual, and it suggested that the drama had been staged, maybe to gain Marx’s support for the changes.
Marx had stated that he had been considering resigning for several months and had spoken with Francis about it. After Francis gave him permission, he claimed he chose to publish his resignation letter on June 4th.
Francis responded within a week, and the letter between the two men was made public in a variety of languages.
The leader of the prominent German lay group ZdK, or Central Committee of German Catholics, which is involved in the reform process, praised Francis’ decision to retain Marx on.
“I am pleased that Cardinal Marx continues to be a forceful voice, not least in light of the Synodal Path,” ZdK leader Thomas Sternberg told the Rheinische Post.
However, Eckiger Tisch, a leading group supporting German clerical abuse survivors, claimed Francis’ choice had diminished the radical impact of Marx’s offer. Marx, the group said in a statement,. This is a brief summary.