The days of making “weak excuses” in response to the sexual abuse crisis are over, said German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising.
The fallout and damage that has resulted, he added, “has not been caused by the press doing their job properly, but rather by the Church itself; it’s caused by the Church leadership,” which had a duty to act responsibly.
The Catholic Church needs more open and clear dialogue, accountability and a willingness to see abuse survivors and critics who push for remedy and reform not as enemies, but as “as co-operators with the Holy Spirit,” the cardinal said at a news conference.
Next to a flat wooden cross covered with shards of a broken mirror, the cardinal and others spoke at an event hosted by the Pontifical Gregorian University and its Centre for Child Protection. The centre was announcing the start of the first interdisciplinary two-year master’s degree program in safeguarding. The cardinal’s archdiocese has helped provide financial support to the CCP since it was established in 2012.
Cardinal Marx, who is president of the German bishops’ conference and a member of Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Cardinals, said the situation now compared to just six years ago when he helped inaugurate the Centre for Child Protection “is much more urgent.”
Picture: Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).