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German bishops’ leader announces surprise resignation

March 27, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: In a surprise move, the vice-president of the German bishops’ conference has resigned, just weeks after saying that he planned to remain in office despite criticism of his handling of sex-abuse complaints.

The Vatican announced the resignation of Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück on March 25, the same day that Pope Francis released revised norms for the handling of abuse complaints. [See today’s separate CWN news analysis.] In announcing his resignation, he said: ““I misjudged cases, often acted hesitantly, made many wrong decisions, and failed to live up to my responsibility as a bishop.”

Bishop Bode, who at 72 was three years away from normal retirement, has been a leading champion of the German bishops’ Synodal Path. He had recently announced that the German bishops would move forward with the recommendations of the Synodal Path despite Vatican opposition.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Mar. 28, 2023 6:49 PM ET USA

    Mercifully, one down -- but how many more to go?