As of: 01/20/2022 5:15 p.m
After the publication of the report on abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Marx apologized to those affected. As archbishop he feels responsible for the church as an institution.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, former chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference and incumbent Archbishop of Munich and Freising, asked the victims to apologize after the publication of the report on abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich. In a statement, he said his first thought is for those who have been sexually abused, who have experienced misery at the hands of church officials on an appalling scale. “I am shocked and ashamed.”
As Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he feels that he shares responsibility for the church as an institution, Cardinal Marx continued. “The abuse crisis is and will continue to be a deep shock to the Church.” The perspective of those affected would be the focus for the Archdiocese.
Report on abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising burdens high church officials
Eckhart Querner, BR, daily news at 3:00 p.m., January 20, 2022
At the same time, Cardinal Marx announced a change and renewal of the Catholic Church in Germany. “We have known for years that sexual abuse was not taken seriously and that those responsible looked the other way,” he said. Therefore the synodal path must be continued. A lot has been changed and implemented since 2010 and “we’re far from finished”.
Report incriminates Cardinal Marx and Pope Benedict
A report published today by the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) weighs among others on the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. misconduct in dealing with four cases of sexual abuse during his time as Archbishop of the Diocese of Munich and Freising. The report was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In all cases, Benedict – then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – strictly rejected any misconduct. The Pope Emeritus was Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982.
The experts accuse Cardinal Marx of misconduct in dealing with two suspected cases of sexual abuse. It is about reports to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. In addition, the experts accused him of inactivity. Despite the large number of reports, it can only be stated in a “relatively small number” that the cardinal dealt directly with cases of abuse at all. It was also said that Marx had withdrawn to a “moral responsibility” and saw direct responsibility in the Vicariate General.
The report also accuses Ratzinger’s direct successor as Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, of misconduct in 21 cases. In the coming week he wants to comment on the content of the report in more detail, said Cardinal Marx.
At least 497 affected
The report lists indications of at least 497 victims of sexualised violence. Cases of abuse from the years 1945 to 2019 were examined. According to the experts, 247 victims were male and 182 victims female, and in 68 cases it was not possible to assign them. 60 percent of the affected boys were between eight and 14 years old.
According to the study, there were at least 235 alleged perpetrators – including 173 priests and nine deacons. However, this is only the so-called bright field. A significantly larger number of unreported cases can be assumed. The report also comes to the conclusion that many priests and deacons continued to be employed even after corresponding allegations became known.