Vatican City, Jun 10, 2021 / 05:40 am
Pope Francis declined on Thursday the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, offered to him last month.
In a June 10 letter, the pope asked the influential German cardinal to continue as archbishop of Munich and Freising.
Writing in Spanish, Francis told Marx: “If you are tempted to think that, by confirming your mission and not accepting your resignation, this Bishop of Rome (your brother who loves you) does not understand you, think of what Peter felt before the Lord when, in his own way, he presented him with his resignation: ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinner,’ and listen to the answer: ‘Shepherd my sheep.’”
The 67-year-old cardinal is a member of the pope’s Council of Cardinals and the coordinator of the Vatican Council for the Economy. Until last year, he served as the chairman of the German bishops’ conference.
Marx sent a letter to Pope Francis May 21 outlining his reasons for seeking to resign from office.
Marx wrote: “Without doubt, these are times of crisis for the Church in Germany. There are, of course, many reasons for this situation -- also beyond Germany in the whole world -- and I believe it is not necessary to state them in detail here.”
“However, this crisis has also been caused by our own failure, by our own guilt. This has become clearer and clearer to me looking at the Catholic Church as a whole, not only today but also in the past decades,” he continued.