D.he Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation from the office of Archbishop of Munich and Freising and to decide on his further use. In a letter of May 21st to the Holy Father, the cardinal explained his reasons for this step. Pope Francis informed Cardinal Marx that this letter could now be published and that the cardinal should continue his episcopal service until a decision was made.
In his letter to the Pope, Marx writes: “For me, it is essentially about sharing responsibility for the catastrophe of sexual abuse by church officials in the past decades.” The studies and reports of the past ten years have consistently shown for him, that there had been “a lot of personal failure and administrative errors”, but “also institutional or systemic failure”.
The recent discussions have shown that “some in the church do not want to admit this element of co-responsibility and thus also complicity of the institution and are therefore opposed to any reform and renewal dialogue in connection with the abuse crisis,” said the cardinal. He clearly rejected this attitude. Instead, the reform process started in Germany, the Synodal Way, for which Marx strongly advocated, must continue.
The Catholic Church had reached a “dead point”. With his resignation from office a personal sign could perhaps be set for new beginnings, for a new awakening of the church. “I want to show that the focus is not on the ministry, but on the mission of the gospel.”
In his personal statement, Marx further stated that he had repeatedly thought about resigning from office over the past few months. “Events and discussions of the last few weeks only play a subordinate role.” His request to accept the resignation from office is a very personal decision. “I would like to make it clear: I am ready to take personal responsibility, not only for my own mistakes, but for the church as an institution, which I have helped to shape and shape for decades.”