Vatican launches probe of how Cologne archdiocese handled abuse complaints
May 28, 2021
CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has appointed two prelates to conduct an apostolic visitation of the Archdiocese of Cologne, to assess the “complex pastoral situation” in the German archdiocese after revelations that sex-abuse complaints were covered up. A March report found that several archdiocesan leaders—including Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg, a former administrator in Cologne—ignored reports of clerical abuse.
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the current leader of the archdiocese, was not charged in the March report with any involvement in the cover-up. But he has been criticized for refusing to make public earlier reports, and he has admitted that he may have mishandled abuse cases in the past.
The apostolic visitation will be directed by Cardinal Andres Arborelius of Stockholm and Bishop Hans van den Hende of Rotterdam.
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