Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, answered the Pope’s letter, in which the Holy Father says he doesn’t accept his resignation and urges him to continue in his post. “I accept his decision with a spirit of obedience,” said the Cardinal.
In a note, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising shared the Prelate’s reaction. “I did not expect him to react with such speed, or his decision that I continue in my ministry as Archbishop of Munich and Freising.” The Cardinal added that he was moved by “the fraternal tone” of Pope Francis’ letter and the perception of having been understood in the reasons for his petition to resign, related to the scandal of the abuses and the crisis in the German Church.
The Archbishop has accepted the Holy Father’s decision and, at the same time, said that “for me and for our common work in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, this also means to find out what new paths we can follow — also in view of a history of many failures — to proclaim and witness the Gospel.”
The Cardinal revealed that he is “not alone in this,” and that he is opening himself to a process of refection in the coming weeks on the way ”we can contribute together even more to the renewal of the Church,” because the Holy Father “accepts a lot of what I said in my letter to him, and gives us an important impetus.”
Cardinal Marx reiterated that “what I also stressed in my statement,” continues to be valid: “that I must assume a personal responsibility and also an ‘institutional responsibility,” in face of those affected, “whose perspective must be included even more.”
“I feel that this decision of the Pope is a great challenge,” he concluded, adding that to return simply to “yesterday’s” agenda cannot be the path either for me or for the Archdiocese.”