CNA Staff, Dec 11, 2020 / 09:00 am
A German cardinal announced Friday that he would ask Pope Francis to review his handling of a clerical abuse case.
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne said Dec. 11 that he would seek the pope’s verdict on the decisions he took regarding an accused priest in 2015.
“In order to clarify the canonical accusations made against me, I ask the Holy Father to examine this question,” he said in a statement on the website of Cologne archdiocese.
“The fact remains: Failures in dealing with sexualized violence must be disclosed, regardless of who they were raised against. This includes me too.”
Cologne archdiocese, which is Germany’s largest and reportedly also its richest diocese, said that the cardinal was referring to the case of a priest identified only as “Pastor O.”
Allegations against Pastor O. were brought to Woelki’s attention in 2015. But Woelki, who was installed as archbishop of Cologne in 2014, decided not to open a preliminary canonical investigation and report the case to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The archdiocese said that, because there were no witnesses to the alleged incident, it was “absolutely necessary” for Woelki to personally address the allegation to the priest.
But Pastor O. had suffered from strokes and had advanced dementia and was therefore unable to respond to the claim.