Report: Cardinal Woelki would step down if implicated in abuse cover-ups

Catholic News Service via The Pilot – Archdiocese of Boston

October 30, 2020

Cologne, Germany – Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki would resign from his office if the sexual abuse study he commissioned implicated him in any cover-ups, according to the Cologne Archdiocese.

The German Catholic news agency KNA said the archdiocese was confirming a report in the local Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper that Cardinal Woelki had expressed this intention before the diocesan pastoral council in November 2018. The aim of the study is to identify by name those who were involved in sexual abuse.

“This does not exempt Cardinal Woelki, and he would face up to his responsibility and accept the consequences,” the archdiocese said.

In its report, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger cited an unidentified pastoral council participant as saying that the cardinal “in his sometimes-loose manner” had explained that no consideration could be shown to anyone and that a “complete clarification” was necessary. If the study could prove his participation in a cover-up, then “the cathedral chapter will have to vote anew.”

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