January 31, 2021
By Derek Scally
Decision to suppress a critical report opposed by over 30 priests in the archdiocese
Priests in Cologne’s Catholic archdiocese are demanding their archbishop resign for suppressing a critical report into clerical sexual abuse in the western German diocese.
The growing crisis in the powerful western diocese has taken on fresh urgency after claims that Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki ignored church guidelines rather than report a friend’s sexual abuse record to Rome.
The case involves a priest friend who had convictions for sexually abusing young boys in the 1970s. Instead of reporting that and other abuse cases to Rome, in line with new church guidelines, Woelki reportedly held back his friend’s file, citing the poor health of the priest – who died in 2017.
A steady drip of allegations prompted a priest in the Cologne archdiocese to write a letter, published
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