Pope rejected the resignation of German Cardinal on the crisis of abuse

Marx, the previous leader of the Catholic bishops' conference in Germany, is not suspected of being abused or hidden.
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Cardinal Reinhard Marx at a press conference in Munich on June 4, 2021. (LENNART PREISS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday, Pope Francis rejected Cardinal Reinhard Reinhard Marx's resignation from the position of archbishop of Munich as the crisis of the Church's sexual abuse.

Marx, the most influential liberal personality in Roman Catholicism, submitted his resignation earlier this month and said that, in the previous decades, he had to share institutional responsibility for clerical' sexual abuse.

In a letter to Marx sent on Thursday and published by the Vatican, Francis said that he understood, but would not accept, the reasons underlying Marx's willingness to retire.

"That is my answer, dear Brother. Continue as you suggest, but as Archbishop of Munich." In the letter written in his Spanish-born Pope, Francis advised Marx.

Marx, the previous leader of the Catholic bishops' conference in Germany, is not suspected of being abused or hidden.

Following a complaint from hundreds of victims there in March, the Church investigates claims of abuse in another German archdiocese, Cologne.

“I agree with you that this is a catastrophe: the sad history of sexual abuse and the way the Church approached it until recently,” Francis said.

Becoming aware of hypocrisy in the way we live our faith is a grace and a first step that we must take. We have to take responsibility for this history, both as individuals and as a community. We cannot remain indifferent in the face of this crime,” he said in the letter.

Declaring that “the whole Church is in crisis” over abuse, Francis said it could no longer take a “head-in-sand policy” over the crisis.

Accepting the crisis, as individuals and as a community is the only fruitful way,” he said.

A major advocate of the Synodal Way, Marx is a drive aiming to increase the influence of ordinary Catholics on the Church's conduct and on matters of bishop appointments, sexual morality, clerical celibacy, and women's ordination.

Conservatives opposed the proposal and said that it may lead to a division.

In recent years, a rapid exodus from the Church in Germany has been seen. Cologne has been a liberal faithful queue protesting not just against abuse, but also about traditional attitudes towards the connections between the same sexes.

The Church of Germany has a worldwide outsized influence, partly because of its wealth: it is made the richest world by taxes paid by members and collected by the government.