Cardinal accuses predecessors of abuse cover-up

The Tablet

November 29, 2020

by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, has accused his two predecessors of hushing up sexual abuse. The predecessors were both cardinals: Joseph Höffner (1906-1987, Archbishop of Cologne from 1969-1987, and bishops’ conference president 1976-1987, who was posthumously awarded the honour of Righteous Among Nations by Israel in 2003 for having saved Jewish lives during the Second World War ), and Joachim Meisner (1933-2017, Archbishop of Cologne from 1989 to 2014).

“Serious mistakes were repeatedly made for decades”, Woelki told domradio.deon 19 November. Those responsible had behaved “completely irresponsibly”, and must therefore be “discovered and named”. As the responsible diocesan archbishop, he had had the case investigated and had initiated canonical criminal proceedings in the Vatican. The case was now awaiting assessment from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome.

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