Photo: Peter Kneffel / dpa
Pope Francis has rejected the resignation of the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
“And that is exactly my answer, dear brother.
Carry on as you suggest, but as Archbishop of Munich and Freising », wrote the head of the Catholic Church in a letter to Cardinal Marx, which the Holy See published on Thursday.
On June 4, Marx published a letter in which he spoke of a "dead point" in the Catholic Church.
"I agree with you that we are dealing with a catastrophe: the sad history of sexual abuse and the way the Church has dealt with it until recently," continued Francis' letter.
The 67-year-old Marx had offered his resignation in a letter to Pope Francis on May 21.
Francis should therefore decide on "his further use".
Marx's request had caused a sensation in the Catholic Church.
Marx is known to many people.
He had probably been at odds with his office for a long time.
With the renunciation a personal sign could perhaps be set for new beginnings, for a new awakening of the church, so Marx.
"In essence, for me it is about sharing responsibility for the catastrophe of sexual abuse by church officials in the past few decades," wrote Marx to the Pope.
The investigations and reports of the past ten years consistently showed for him that there had been “a lot of personal failure and administrative errors”, but “also institutional or systemic failure”.
For his move, Marx received recognition from many in the Catholic Church.
The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK), Bishop Georg Bätzing, showed understanding for the decision.
Marx had "done groundbreaking for the Church in Germany and around the world," it was said at the time.
However, with a view to Marx's role in the DBK, he regretted his decision to take this step.
Associations that are otherwise critical of the Catholic Church also praised the offer of resignation.
According to the initiative of victims of abuse, "Eckiger Tisch", it clears the way for a fresh start.
"It is an impressive step that finally a bishop in Germany speaks in the first person and takes responsibility."
Marx is one of the most famous bishops in Germany and was chairman of the German Bishops' Conference until 2020.
In the reform debate of the Catholic Church in Germany, the «Synodal Way», he had recently shown himself to be a reformist.
An expert opinion on cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising is expected this summer, which will primarily work out how sexual abuse of priests in the diocese became possible and whether high-ranking clergy protected offenders.
More soon on SPIEGEL.de
More soon on SPIEGEL.de
apr / dpa