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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German Church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops’ conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German Church’s handling of sex abuse of minors and said he anticipates change in the Church.

Speaking out for the first time regarding the contents of a leaked document on Church sexual abuse in Germany, Cardinal Marx attributed the abuse to the Church “lacking attentiveness, lacking sensitivity, through the absence of love.”

“God suffers about what we overlooked, where we looked away, what we did not want to believe as true,” the cardinal said during his homily at a Mass in Schoenstatt, Germany.

The leaked document contained the findings of a confidential study, sponsored by the German bishops’ conference, revealing that an estimated 3,700 minors were abused in Germany from 1946 to 2014. The bishops’ conference did not disclose the findings to the public.

“The Church experiences highs and lows,” said Cardinal Marx. “Particularly in these days, we are thinking about the dark sides of what has happened and what is happening within the Church.”

Picture: Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich. The German cardinal admitted that mistakes were made in the German Church’s handling of sex abuse of minors and said he anticipates change in the Church. (CNS photo/Markus Now, KNA).