The president of the German Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, announced Tuesday that he will not be re-elected to the front of the Catholic bishops, he said in a letter that the institution spread.
Marx, archbishop of Munich and considered close to Pope Francis, indicates in the letter that “it is the turn of the younger generations” and adds: “perhaps it is also good that there is more often a change in this task.”
“I have served as president of the German Episcopal Conference with pleasure, but everything has its moment,” explains the cardinal, who alludes that if he exercised for a new period, he would reach 72 years of age at the end of this.
At that point in his life, the cardinal adds, “I would also be approaching the end of my task as archbishop of Munich and Freising.”
The assembly of the Episcopal Conference in which it is planned to elect its new maximum representative is scheduled to be held between March 2 and 5.
The cardinal, who is currently 66 years old, says he will continue to be “active” in collaboration with the Episcopal Conference and that he will work “especially on the synodal path, which from my point of view has started well.”
The “synodal path” is the process of internal reforms launched by the German Catholic Church after the scandals caused by cases of sexual abuse and is based on a debate with the faithful.
Last year the prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, the Canadian Marc Ouellet, had conveyed the criticism of the Vatican regarding that initiative by indicating in a letter that the chosen path was hardly compatible with canon law.
The synodal path of the German Catholic Church, which began in 2019, includes debates in forums that address, among others, sexual morals, the role of women in the Church, priestly ways of life and how the Authority in the institution.
In the past, Cardinal Marx has expressed himself in favor of increasing the presence of women in positions of responsibility in the Church in order to “put an end to closed clerical circles.”