CNA Newsroom, Jul 10, 2023 / 13:45 pm
Cardinal Reinhard Marx on Sunday asked for forgiveness in the case of a German World War II massacre in Italy on the orders of a man who went on to become a bishop in Munich.
Before he ascended to the rank of auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in 1968, Matthias Defregger wore a different uniform. As a captain in the 114th Jäger Division, he presided over a grim chapter of history. His unit, in the summer of 1944, extinguished the lives of 17 innocent men and set ablaze the village of Filetto di Camarda.
On July 9, the current archbishop of Munich found himself face-to-face with descendants of those victims. Marx thanked the people of Filetto for their courage in confronting the past and their refusal to let history be swept under the rug.
“We feel how important it is not to forget,” he said. “Suppression of history cannot build a good future.”