© Reuters. Reinhard Marx, Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, addresses a press conference after a study on allegations of sexual abuse in the southern German archdiocese between 1945 and 2019 was published in Munich, Germany, on January 20, 2022. Sven
BERLIN (Reuters) – The Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, apologized on Thursday to victims of historical sexual abuse in his archdiocese after a report found a mistake in his scandal, as well as with former Pope Benedict XVI.
“As the current archbishop, I apologize on behalf of the archdiocese for the suffering inflicted on people in the church area in recent decades,” Marx said in a statement.
Earlier, the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl published a report on allegations of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising between 1945 and 2019. A report commissioned by the Archdiocese said there were at least 497 victims of abuse, mostly young men.
The report states that the archbishop, a leading progressive in the Church, misrepresented two suspicious cases. He is not suspected of involvement in the abuse or cover-up.
Marx said that changes had already begun in the last 10 years, but that more was needed, and stressed the importance of pushing forward with the “Synodal Path”, a movement that aims to give lay Catholics more influence in running the church.
“Now is the time to gain momentum that gives the report and take further steps into the future,” said Marx, whose resignation offer was rejected by Pope Francis last year due to the abuse crisis.
Marx said the archdiocese will carefully read and analyze the report and will present the full answer next week.
Benedict’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the Vatican said it would evaluate the entire report and examine its details.
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