“The investigations and reports of the last ten years have consistently shown that there have been many personal failures and administrative mistakes but also institutional or ‘systemic’ failure,” the letter continued.
Pope Francis has not yet accepted Marx’s resignation, and the Archbishop has been told to remain in post until a decision is made, a statement from the Archdiocese in Munich said. The statement also noted that Marx has “repeatedly considered resigning from office in recent months.”
“It is painful for me to witness the severe damage to the bishops’ reputation in the ecclesiastical and secular perception which may even be at its lowest,” Marx said in the letter. “I feel that through remaining silent, neglecting to act and over-focusing on the reputation of the Church I have made myself personally guilty and responsible.”
The news comes amid a growing uproar among the German faithful over abuse. Last week, the Pope sent two senior foreign bishops to investigate the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany’s largest, over its handling of abuse cases, Reuters reported.
At a Vatican summit in February 2019, Marx admitted that documents that could have contained proof of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were destroyed or never drawn up.
“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed or not even created,” Marx said at the summit.
“The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution offenses were deliberately not complied with … such standard practices will make it clear that it is not transparency which damages the church, but rather the acts of abuse committed, the lack of transparency, or the ensuing coverup.”
At a later press conference during the summit, Marx said that the information about destroying files came from a study commissioned by German bishops in 2014. The study was “scientific” and did not name the particular church leaders or dioceses in Germany that destroyed the files.