Vatican gives German cardinal leave of absence after abuse investigation
September 24, 2021
CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Rainer Mari Woelki of Cologne will take time off “to reflect, to renew, and to reconcile” after a Vatican investigation confirmed that he had mishandled sex-abuse complaints. But the German cardinal, who has steadfastly resisted calls for his resignation, will remain as head of the Cologne archdiocese.
Cardinal Woelki had acknowledged failings in his response to a report on abuse in the archdiocese. But a Vatican investigation absolved him of covering up evidence.
Cardinal Woelki has been at odds with the majority of German bishops who have favored radical changes in the Church, in their support for the “Synodal Path” undertaken by the episcopal conference.
Bishop Georg Bätzing, the president of the conference, said that he was caught off guard by the Vatican’s September 24 announcement that Cardinal Woelki would remain in office after a period of leave.
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