January 29, 2021
Pressure has increased on a Catholic cardinal over the release of a report on child sex abuse. The diocese council of Cologne has said Cardinal Woelki has a moral obligation to allow its publication.
A German Catholic cardinal, who has for months prevented the publication of a report on alleged sexual abuse of minors, came under increasing pressure on Friday to relent.
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, a conservative clergyman who is also the archbishop of Cologne, has often resisted reforms within the Catholic Church and has faced mounting criticism over blocking the release of the independent report on abuse committed by members of his diocese, Germany’s largest, between 1975 and 2018.
In November, Woelki turned to the head of the Catholic Church for assistance, urging Pope Francis to take over the investigation.
In a rare public rebuke, the diocese council of Cologne, which groups clergy and laypeople, heavily criticized the Woelki, saying he had “completely failed as a moral authority.”
“We find ourselves in the biggest crisis that the Church has ever experienced,” Tim Kurzbach, head of the council, said in a statement.
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