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Cardinal Marx submits resignation to the Pope over abuse crisis in Germany

Cardinal Reinhard Marx has offered Pope Francis his resignation as Archbishop of Munich and Freising. In a letter to the Pope dated May 21, he shares that his decision was made in response to the mishandling of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church in Germany.

In the letter he acknowledges "personal failures" in mishandling the abuses, and says that "some members of the Church refuse to believe that there is a shared responsibility” for the crisis.

Cardinal Marx is 67 years old, and is eligible to remain in office until 75. He is one of the most well-known cardinals in Europe and an adviser to the Pope as a member of the Council of Cardinals. 

When asked about the resistance Pope Francis faces within the Curia, he reiterated the need for Catholics to be loyal to the Pope.

Member, Council of Cardinals
"We have discussions in the Church, that's clear. Normal discussions, tensions, it will forever be like this. But in a time like this, it is also clear for us as Catholics that the loyalty to the Pope is substantial for the Catholic faith and believers.”

Cardinal Marx has played a key role in advancing many of the reforms Pope Francis has pushed throughout his papacy. Yet in his letter to the Pope he writes that he has made himself guilty in the sex abuse crisis by "remaining silent, negligent, and too focused on the Church's reputation." He says the Church in Germany has been in crisis for decades and is in need of a renewal.

The cardinal says he is willing to take responsibility, and hopes his resignation will “send a personal signal for a new beginning, for a new awakening of the Church, and not only in Germany."

Javier Romero