No, it is not the much feared “German” schism, but for the Caporetto of the German Church for pedophilia. Cardinal Marx who resigned (8 years before the deadline for retirement) from the management of the diocese of Munich and Freising. But he is not just any cardinal: in fact he is one of the pope’s main collaborators in the so-called “council of the crown”, as the owner, moreover, of the Council for the Economy, the body created in 2013 to bring transparency to Vatican finances .
Well, Marx – who from 2014 to 2020 was also president of the German Bishops’ Conference, that is, at the helm of one of the richest Churches in the world (the ecclesiastical tax collected by the German government on the basis of the agreement with Hitler “makes” something like 6 billion of euros) – he resigned to publicly assume his responsibilities in managing the crisis of pedophilia and sexual abuse of minors. It did so with a letter dated May 21, 2021, published in its Italian translation first by Huffpost in Italy.
A letter (the disclosure of which was authorized by Francis) brought to the attention of the Pope just two days before the signing by Francis of the new book VI of the code of canon law in which the duties of bishops in the reporting of abuses, to avoid coverage of those responsible.
An independent report on case management in the Diocese of Munich will be released next month, according to the German news agency DPA. So after the cases of Regensburg and the Diocese of Cologne now it is the turn of Munich (which was also the diocese of Joseph Ratzinger). In the letter Marx speaks of the “systematic failure” of the German Church and of the need to create the conditions for a new beginning, which will only allow the Church to be reborn in Germany. Marx does not want to give advice to the other bishops, but explained that he considered the decision to leave the diocese necessary for himself: a “personal decision”, taken after Easter, which the Pope will soon appoint a successor.
At the end of the letter, Marx concludes (addressing the Pope) with the words “Oboedienza et Pax… His Obedient Archbishop of Munich and Freising”. Therefore, the letter has nothing to do with the alleged rebellion against the recent disciplinary rules that “excommunicate” even the attempted ordination of deaconesses and priestesses, nor with the failure of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to endorse the blessing of gay couples which took place in May in Germany in a few dozen parishes. Not a schism, therefore, but once again the pedophilia scandal, after the United States, this time on the European continent. In 2018, a report commissioned by the German Church concluded that at least 3,677 people were abused by the clergy in Germany between 1946 and 2014. More than halfat of the victims were 13 or younger when the abuse occurred, and nearly a third of them were altar boys. In his resignation letter, Marx did not mention his roles in the Vatican in close contact with Pope Francis, but certainly for the Pontiff it is a new tile.