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A double standard for German prelates?

October 24, 2022

» Continue to this story on National Catholic Register

CWN Editor's Note: Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register contrasts the cases of two German prelates: Bishop Franz-Jozef Bode of Osnabrück, who has refused to resign despite clear evidence that he neglected abuse charges; and Cardinal Rainier Woelki of Cologne, who was charged with similar, but far less serious, failures.

Cardinal Woelki offered to resign, and although Pope Francis chose not to accept that resignation (after a lengthy hiatus), other German prelates continue to insist that he should step down. But when Bishop Bode declined to resign, the matter was quickly dropped.

Pentin observes two crucial differences. Bishop Bode is vice-president of the German episcopal conference, a leader figure in the Synodal Path, with impeccably liberal credentials. Cardinal Woelki, who is theologically conservative, is at odds with many of his German colleagues. Also, the Cologne archdiocese is one of the world’s wealthiest: an enviable position.

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