The Holy Family holds the globe, which is furrowed by deep cracks – this picture by the artist Beate Heinen adorns this year’s Lenten pastor letter from the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. Woelki writes of “deep cracks that run through our archdiocese” in the letter that was supposed to be read at church services in the archdiocese at the weekend: “I don’t ‘only’ have it in front of my eyes, I feel it every day: the suspicion of a cover-up in the context of dealing with the abuse of power, sexual violence and pedophile crimes.
The serious loss of trust. “
In the letter Woelki again asks for forgiveness for mistakes, but also appeals for understanding that he initially does not publish the abuse report of the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, but wants to wait for a second report: “In fact, as a bishop, I need one for all relevant people certain qualitative and quantitative facts that make clear and consistent change action possible in the long term, “writes Woelki. His goal is still to educate – “of course also with a view to my person”.
The second report by the criminal lawyer Björn Gercke will be presented on March 18. It lists more than 300 suspicious transaction reports, more than 300 victims and more than 200 accused, reports the Spiegel. Woelki had previously announced that Gercke had investigated 236 cases. Woelki’s decision not to publish the first report – with reference to alleged methodological deficiencies – had triggered an unprecedented crisis.
The Diocesan Council terminated Woelki’s collaboration.
The Bishops’ Conference will talk about the Cologne affair
The bishops also want to talk about leaving the church, the Cologne affair should push the numbers up again.
When a new quota for exit dates was activated on Friday on the homepage of the district court, the servers collapsed under the onslaught of interested parties. At times there were about 5000 access attempts at the same time, said a court spokesman. Something like this has never happened before.
The President of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Manfred Rekowski, spoke of an “ecumenical community of liability”. If people in the Church were mistreated, abused, and degraded, all denominations would suffer. Rekowski celebrated an ecumenical passion devotion with Woelki in Düsseldorf’s Johanneskirche on Saturday.
The evangelical side called for the devotion to be canceled. Rekowski refused. A divine service is “not a supportive signal for church political decisions”.
The re is not even a systematic report there to argue about.