Pope Francis refuses to accept the resignation of influential German cleric Reinhard Marx.
By stepping down as a bishop, he wanted to take responsibility for the inadequate approach to sexual abuse within the church. Marx, 67, who is also a cardinal, is not suspected of wrongdoing himself and is allowed to continue as Archbishop of Munich-Freising.
Marx is known for being relatively progressive and among the most prominent Catholic clergy worldwide. In his letter of resignation, he wrote that many mistakes had been made in addressing abuse within the church.
His departure as archbishop was supposed to be a turning point, but according to the letter published by the Vatican, the Pope wants him to stay.
Abuse scandals in several countries have plagued the Roman Catholic Church. A study carried out for the Bishops’ Conference of Germany in 2018 showed that at least 1,670 clerics there assaulted minors, mainly boys, in the period 1946-2014. There were thousands of victims.