Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany (CNS photo/Cristian Gennari, KNA)

    “Without doubt, these are times of crisis for the Church in Germany. This crisis has also been caused by our own failure, by our own guilt.” —Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising in Bavaria, southern Germany, in a surprising May 21 letter to Pope Francis asking the Pope to accept his resignation as archbishop (link). The guilt Marx feels, he says, is for not having done more to prevent the cases of sexual abuse in the Church. “Overlooking and disregarding the victims was certainly our greatest fault of the past,” Marx says.

    “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” —Jesus, speaking to Peter, from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 22:32. These words are often understood to be Christ’s vision for the head of the Church, Peter, and for Peter’s successors: that Peter’s faith will not fail because He has prayed that it not fail, so that Peter, standing firm, will be able to “confirm his brethren” in the faith handed down from the beginning

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