The press office of the Holy See reported that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a German archbishop who has recently come under pressure for his handling of sexual abuse cases in his diocese.
This is the Archbishop of Bamberg, Msgr. Ludwig SchickThe 73-year-old, who was at the head of the Bavarian archdiocese since 2002.
The archbishop said in a statement published on November 1 that he conveyed this request to the pope “verbally and in writing during a private audience in April of this year, explaining it as follows: I have fulfilled and am fulfilling my obligations in the Archdiocese”.
Archbishop Ludwig Schick said the Pope had asked him to continue in office. “After explaining my reasons again, he agreed to my request at the end of September”the archbishop explained later.
It should be noted that he is not the first German archbishop to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation. In 2021, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, criticized for his handling of sexual abuse cases, also offered to resign. Although the Pope refused, the cardinal said publicly that he might try to resign again.
Also, earlier this month, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the 59-year-old Swiss bishop that he said his “inner weariness” made his position “unbearable.”
Archbishop Ludwig Schick was the Archbishop of Bamberg for 20 years and resigned at the age of 73, although canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the Holy Father after their 75th birthday.
“After careful consideration and prayer, as well as many conversations with my spiritual director, I came to the conclusion in the first quarter of this year to ask the Pope to relieve me of my duties,” Mons Schick told CNA Deutsch. German news agency of the ACI Group.
“I am leaving my post with confidence,” the archbishop wrote. “The tasks of the Church, the proclamation of the Gospel, worship, pastoral care and charity can continue fruitfully on a good basis. That is my wish and my request“.
In his statement, released on Tuesday, November 1, the archbishop said that the Vatican informed him that his resignation will be announced on November 1. “Until then, the decision was supposed to be strictly confidential. I strictly adhered to it,” he wrote.
For his part, Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, thanked him for his service, including the role of president of the Contact Group of the German and Polish Bishops’ Conference.
In addition, as reported by CNA Deutsch, Msgr. George Betzing he praised the archbishop for following the German synodal path.
Translated and adapted by Almudena Martínez-Bordiú. Originally posted on CNA.