UPDATED: Pope rejects German cardinal’s resignation over abuse scandal

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Pope Francis has rejected German Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s offer to resign as archbishop of Munich over the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, a letter released by the Vatican on Thursday showed.

Marx, one of Roman Catholicism’s most influential liberal figures, offered to resign earlier this month, saying he had to share responsibility for the “catastrophe” of sexual abuse by clerics over past decades.

Francis said he understood the motivation behind Marx’s offer to resign, but would not accept it.

“That is my answer, dear Brother. Continue as you suggest, but as Archbishop of Munich,” Francis told Marx in the letter.

A former head of the Catholic Church in Germany, Marx is not under any suspicion of having participated in abuse or cover-ups. The Church is investigating abuse allegations in another German archdiocese, Cologne, after a report in March found hundreds of victims there.