“Otherwise, everyone who has already been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for their services to the victims of sexualized violence should return it, as it will lose its actual value, the honor of a meritorious activity, when it is awarded to Cardinal Marx,” he wrote.
The open letter, which Bringmann-Henselder said also had the support of other members of the advisory board, continued: “We do not understand how you can award Cardinal Marx the Federal Cross of Merit, a man who is still criticized for not having consistently investigated cases of sexualized violence in his former diocese of Trier and who is accused of covering up cases in that context.”
The letter also stated that as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Marx had so far failed to publish a 2010 report on cases of sexualized violence in the archdiocese.
It said that the report was “not available to the public to this day, in complete contrast to the report of the Archdiocese of Cologne” -- a reference to the 800-page Gercke Report issued by Cologne archdiocese in March.
Marx did not respond directly to the open letter’s claims about the 2010 report on Tuesday.
The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising is reportedly planning to publish a new study documenting cases of sexualized violence between 1945 and 2019.
Marx said he hoped that his decision not to receive the honor would show “that further processing and, if possible, healing in the area of sexual abuse in Church and society remains an important concern for me.”