Cardinal of Cologne remains in office: nothing illegal in his management of abuse cases

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Cardinal Woelki will rest for a few months and resume his duties next Lent.

Newsroom (26/09/2021 11:00, Gaudium Press) Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne, will continue leading his diocese, according to the nunciature in Germany.

The Cardinal and the archdiocese had been the object of an apostolic visit to investigate the handling of sexual abuse cases in this jurisdiction. The nunciature informed that there is no evidence that the cardinal behaved illegally when dealing with cases of sexual abuse. The nuncio also praised the archbishop’s “determination to fight abuse crimes in the Church, to care for the victims and to promote prevention.”

The Nuncio in Germany pointed to “major errors” in communication, which have contributed to a “crisis of confidence” towards the Archdiocese.

A period of rest

The nunciature also reports that, at the Cardinal’s request, the Pope has granted him a “dead spiritual time”, “a time of pause, renewal and reconciliation”, which will run from October until next Lent, when he will resume the administration of the Archdiocese. Until then, Bishop Rolf Steinhauser, auxiliary bishop will take care of the archdiocese as apostolic administrator.

As for the auxiliary bishops, Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp and Bishop Ansgar Puff will also continue in their positions. Although there were “isolated deficiencies in the management of the procedures, there was no intention to cover up the abuses or ignore those affected,” the nunciature explained.

Bishop Puff will resume his duties immediately, and Bishop Schwaderlapp will serve for a year as chaplain in the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Africa.

With information from Infocatolica.

 

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