The cardinal, archbishop of Munich and Freissing and the former president of the German Episcopal Conference, Reinhard Marx, has resigned from his post after denouncing that the Catholic Church is in a “stalemate” on the thorny issue of sexual abuse committed by religious against minors, but also adults. “Cardinal Reinhard Marx has asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation as Archbishop of Munich and Freissing and decide on his future occupation,” says a statement made public today on the website of the archbishop of the Bavarian capital. Marx sent the request to the Supreme Pontiff on May 21 and announced that his letter would be made public on this date, in addition to communicating that he would remain in office until Francis I decides on his future.
“In the main it is for me to assume responsibility for the catastrophe of sexual abuse by members in charge of the church during the last decades,” says the letter sent to the Pope, in which it is emphasized that the investigations and Expert reports carried out in the last 10 years have permanently shown that there has been “a lot of personal failure and administrative errors”, but also “an institutional or systemic failure”. A member of the more liberal wing of the Catholic Church in Germany and extremely concerned about the wave of apostasies in this country, Marx notes that recent discussions have shown that “some in the church do not want to take on that element of responsibility. and complicity “and even” therefore reject any reformist or renewal dialogue in relation to the crisis of abuses. “
The Catholic Church is “at a standstill” and perhaps with their resignation they can set a personal signal for a new beginning and a renewal of the church, writes the still Archbishop of Munich and Freissing. “I want to show that the important thing is not the position, but the mission of the gospel,” says the religious in his letter to the Supreme Pontiff. Marx confesses that he has been considering his resignation for months and emphasizes that “the events and discussions of the last few months only play a secondary role.” He adds that his request for his resignation to be accepted is a totally personal decision. “I want to make it absolutely clear that I am willing to take personal responsibility, not only for my own mistakes, but for the church as an institution,” the German cardinal finally points out.
Reinhard Marx is one of the best-known and most popular German bishops, president of the German Bishops’ Conference until 2020, the year in which he announced that he was resigning to assume a second term in office. In the reformist debate the Catholic Church in Germany defends the “synodal way” and represents the most progressive wing. The institution is going through a deep crisis in this country. The latest scandal was carried out by the Cardinal and Archbishop of Cologne, Reinar Maria Woelki, widely criticized for paralyzing and temporarily hiding a report on sexual abuse committed by religious in his diocese that was finally published a few weeks ago.