Marx comments on the Munich abuse report

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Cardinal Reinhard Marx gives a press statement after presenting an expert opinion on cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. © Sven Hoppe/dpa POOL/dpa

The Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Marx, was not present when the abuse report was presented in his diocese and only gave a brief statement. Now this should be more detailed.

Munich – One week after the shocking report on abuse, all eyes are on Munich Archbishop Reinhard Marx.

On Thursday (11:00 a.m.), the cardinal wants to comment on the results of the study that his diocese commissioned from the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW). The study accuses Marx and his predecessors in the office of archbishop, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter and Joseph Ratzinger, of misconduct in dealing with cases of abuse and assumes at least 497 victims and 235 alleged perpetrators – and a much larger number of unreported cases.

Marx was not present when the report was presented on Thursday last week and only made a brief statement afterwards. “I am shocked and ashamed,” he said.

It has been known for years “that sexual abuse was not taken seriously in the church, that the perpetrators were often not properly held accountable, that those responsible looked the other way”.

Will Marx resign again?

As Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he felt that he was jointly responsible for the church as an institution in recent decades. “As the incumbent archbishop, I therefore apologize on behalf of the archdiocese for the suffering that has been inflicted on people in the area of ​​the church in recent decades.”

There is speculation as to whether Marx will announce his resignation to the pope again – and thus for the second time in less than a year.

Immediately after the presentation of the report, the Catholic theologian Daniel Bogner said that after all the revelations he considered it appropriate for Marx to attempt to resign again. “And I hope he won’t accept another rejection by Pope Francis this time. This would initially only be a symbolic, but very strong sign that the previous structures of the church are no longer working,” said the professor of moral theology and ethics at the Swiss University of Freiburg.

The canon lawyer Thomas Schüller does not expect a second offer of resignation. “In the light of his astonishingly dispassionate and uninspired statement on January 20, 2022 on the publication of the report, which hurt and alienated many of those affected, I do not expect Marx to make another offer of resignation to the Pope,” he told the German Press Agency.

It is questionable whether there can still be a gesture that can absorb the frustration and anger among believers. In Bavaria, cities now have to upgrade their registry offices in order to cope with the flood of people leaving the church. dpa

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