German Cardinal Woelki Resigns for a Second Time

The Cardinal resumed his Archdiocese duties after a sabbatical period due to an apostolic visit. The investigation found nothing illegal in his handling of abuse cases.  

Newsroom (03/03/2022 11:15 AM, Gaudium Press) The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki “has presented Pope Francis with his resignation from office,” according to a press release from the Archdiocese.

This decision comes after a “sabbatical period” of a few months, taken by the Cardinal following an apostolic visit that examined his handling of sexual abuse cases. The inquiry found no evidence that the Cardinal had behaved unlawfully in dealing with abuse matters.

The Pope had ordered the Cardinal to resume his duties on Ash Wednesday. However, as an expression of “inner freedom,” the Cardinal placed his ministry and office “as Archbishop of Cologne at the disposal of the Holy Father, so that he too may be free to decide what best serves the interests of the Church of Cologne.” Simultaneously, the Cardinal issued a Pastoral Letter published with the announcement.

Seeking a broad dialogue

In the Letter, Cardinal Woelki shows his awareness of the troubled situation in the Archdiocese. His return generates opposing feelings in many faithful: “uncertainty, incomprehension, mistrust and even rejection of my person, as well as some concern about how things will go in our Archdiocese.”

The Cardinal stated that in the coming days and months he will try to meet with the greatest possible number of faithful to hear “what worries us” and also “what makes us live,” wishing that this happens “openly, without fear and with honesty.”

More by Gaudium Press  Mosul, Iraq: Cardinal Sako Reopens Church Destroyed by Islamic State

With information from Infocatólica.

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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