Pope Francis abolishes pontifical

German archbishop offers to resign after abuse criticism

Germany’s Cologne Archdiocese Report

Title: German archbishop offers to resign after abuse criticism
Authors: Kirsten Grieshaber, Daniel Niemann
Geir Moulson in Berlin and Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.
Publisher: Associated Press
Date: 18MAR2021

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — A report commissioned by Germany’s Cologne archdiocese on church officials’ handling of past cases of sexual abuse found 75 cases in which high-ranking officials neglected their duties. The findings on Thursday prompted the archbishop of Hamburg to offer his resignation to Pope Francis.

The report commissioned by Cologne’s archbishop, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, absolved Woelki himself of any neglect of duty with respect to abuse victims.

However, Woelki’s late predecessor, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, was accused of two dozen instances of wrongdoing such as failing to follow up on or report cases of abuse, not sanctioning perpetrators or not caring for victims. Meisner retired in 2014 and died in 2017.

Hamburg Archbishop Stefan Hesse, previously a senior church official in Cologne, was faulted for 11 cases of neglecting his duty.

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