Abuse at Munich: Cardinal Marx Asks Forgiveness from Victims

The Archbishop Invokes a ‘Renewal in the Church’ After the Report on Cases from 1945 to 2019

Abuses Munich
The press conference of Cardinal Marx (C) Archdiocese of Munich and Freising

Greatly awaited was the announced press conference of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, after the presentation of the Report, drawn up by the Westpfahl Spilker Wastl legal studio on the cases of abuse in the diocese between 1945 and 2019. The Cardinal apologized to the close to 500 victims in his own name and in that of the Archdiocese.

Victims Neglected

 “Once again I ask forgiveness from the victims of the abuses but also from the faithful, who now doubt the Church, who no longer trust the leaders and whose faith is damaged. My principal fault – admitted the Cardinal – was to have neglected the victims. I should have been more committed to them. We had no real interest in their suffering. I have a moral responsibility for this as Archbishop.”

The Request for Reform

 In May of last year, the Cardinal tendered his resignation to the Pontiff, who rejected it. “The Church had become a place of misfortune and fear, not of consolation,” he continued. Cardinal Marx stressed the need for an important reform. “There will be no future for Christianity in our country if there is no renewal in the Church.” He did not exclude new resignations. “If the impression were to emerge that I could represent more of an impediment than a help, I will seek dialogue in the competent places.”

The Cardinal also apologized to the parishes in which the abuses took place. “In our dealings with them, we did not pay sufficient attention, involving them.” Cardinal Marx also answered a question on Pope Emeritus. Benedict XVI has rejected the accusations, correcting only one statement regarding his participation in a meeting in which there was talk of the predator priest of Essen, without modifying, moreover, the substance of his memorial. “I accept that he interprets the facts differently on this point, that he is sorry, and I think he will express himself again on all this question. This would be a positive thing, and I will see it positively,” said the Archbishop.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester