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In the wake of abuse allegations, Archbishop of Cologne offers resignation

FILE PHOTO: The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, gives an update on the consequences and measures taken after an independent report on abuse cases at the Cologne archdiocese was released last week in Cologne, Germany, March 23, 2021. Oliver Berg/Pool via REUTERS

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the Archbishop of Cologne, said he offered his resignation to Pope Francis while on leave from his duties following criticism of his handling of Church abuse issues, but the Pope has yet to accept his offer.

The news: Following a controversy over the hierarchy’s failure to deal with priestly abuse, Woelki took a leave from his duties as head of the world’s richest Catholic Church’s largest diocese in September.

  • In a letter to his congregation, he wrote, “I placed my service and office as Archbishop of Cologne at the Holy Father’s disposal, so that he is free to decide what best serves the Church of Cologne.”
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