The lay representation in the Archdiocese of Cologne suspends its cooperation with the diocese leadership around Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. This was decided by the Diocesan Council at its plenary meeting on Thursday evening.
After the "unresolved abuse processing" the "basis for trust and credibility must first be re-established". In another resolution, the panel called on former and active members of diocesan leadership to name breaches of duty in dealing with abuse cases, regardless of legal opinions.
The ten representatives of the Diocesan Council in the archbishop's highest advisory body, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, are suspending their participation in the realignment of the archdiocese, it was reported. For these deliberations, he said, there is currently "no sufficient acceptance". Specifically, the plan here is to form about 50 to 60 large parishes out of the archdiocese's current 180 pastoral areas, with their total of about 500 mostly smaller parishes. This has met with criticism from the church base, which is why alternatives are being considered.
Publication of expert opinion demanded
Further the Diozesanrat demands the publication of the expert's assessment of the Munich Kanzlei Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) kept under lock and key by the archdiocese over misconduct of high-level personnel when handling cases of sexualisierter force. "Full transparency and disclosure of all facts is the minimum requirement for clarification and reappraisal," the resolution says.
Woelki should accept the offer of the law firm WSW to publish its expert opinion at his own risk, she said. The archbishop rejects this, pointing to "methodological deficiencies" and the possible violation of personal rights. It had commissioned a new expert opinion, the results of which are to be presented in March.
The chairman of the Diocesan Council, Tim Kurzbach, accuses the archbishop of having failed as a moral authority. "We are in the midst of the greatest church crisis that any of us have ever experienced."
Reaction of auxiliary bishop Ansgar Puff
Responding to the Diocesan Council's resolutions on behalf of the diocesan leadership was Cologne's Auxiliary Bishop Ansgar Puff, who is also a member of the body's executive committee. He pointed out that Woelki, the auxiliary bishops and the vicar general had daily conversations with pastoral workers to provide opportunities to "express frustrations". As far as Corona makes it possible, "we want to continue working in this direction in the coming months".
Furthermore, the statement of the Diocesan Council showed that Woelki's decision of mid-January had been correct to continue the consultations on the diocesan reform in June at the earliest. More time is needed for the ie. By the summer, the archdiocese would give priority to dealing with the results of the abuse report expected in March.
Commenting on the conflict and the meeting of the DIocesan Council, this site said.DE also the Diocesan Council President Tim Kurzbach and Auxiliary Bishop Ansgar Puff.