- Jul 23, 2021
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has not resigned, because in the Catholic system bishops don’t get to resign of their own accord. They can submit their resignation to the pope – in fact, they’re required to do so at the age of 75 – but it’s always up to the pope whether to accept.
Abuse scandals have exposed “systemic weaknesses in the church that also call for systemic responses. A purely legal review and administrative changes are not enough,” said Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, noting that Marx’s decision was a “personal response” to the failures of the past.
Critics charge that in the German “synodal path,” the suffering of abuse victims is being weaponized for ideological ends by forces seeking to revive old arguments in Catholicism over power and sex, trying to use the abuse crisis to justify profound changes in Catholic teaching and tradition.
The concept of “pontifical secrecy,” if not quite on life support, has certainly seen better days.
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s recent comments on priestly celibacy are merely the latest chapter of his role as a protagonist in the Francis papacy.
The opening week of October’s Synod of Bishops served up a “best of times, worst of times” dynamic with regard to the clerical sexual abuse scandals.
Throughout Germany the new guidelines concerning Communion for Protestant spouses of Catholics have been causing some confusion.
The new head of a commission representing Europe’s Catholic bishops pledged to combat populism and promote European unity.