Il Duomo di Colonia

Cologne Cathedral – Archives of Sicily

The Pope ordered an apostolic visit to the diocese of Cologne, Germany, regarding the issues of sexual abuse and its covering up. This task was entrusted to Cardinal Andres Arporelius, Bishop of Stockholm, and to the President of the Dutch Bishops Conference, Bishop of Rotterdam, Johannes van der Hend.

In a note, the local church itself clarified that “in the first half of June, the delegates of the Holy See will have a complete picture of the complex pastoral situation in the diocese and at the same time of any mistakes that Cardinal Rainer makes” Maria Walkie, by the Archbishop of Hamburg, Mgr Stefan Hesse, the vicar The previous year, then the Apostolic Officer of Cologne, and the assistants of Monsignor Colonia Dominicus Schwaderlab and Monsignor Ansgar Baff.

Wolke commented positively on the pontiff’s decision, noting that in February “the Holy Father fully informed of the situation in our diocese.” I welcome – and added – the fact that the Pope wants in the Apostolic Visit to obtain a personal picture of the independent investigation and to draw the results. I will support Cardinal Arborelius and Bishop Johannes Van den Hind with complete conviction. ”

In this regard, on March 18th, the “Independent Report on Combating Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne” was published, commissioned by Wollke himself and entrusted to the law firm Gercke & Wollschläger. The poll, collected in 800 pages, covers the period from 1975 to 2018 and reports 314 victims, of whom 313 are minors and 202 perpetrators. After publication, Mgr Hess resigned “to avoid harming the Archbishop’s office and the diocese of Hamburg,” adding that he acted according to his best knowledge and convictions.

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