Cardinal Marx will not seek reelection as head of German bishops

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany, announced Feb. 11, 2020, he would not run for another term as president of the German bishops' conference. He is pictured in a 2019 photo. (CNS photo/Julia Steinbrecht, KNA) 

BONN, Germany (CNS) -- Cardinal Reinhard Marx, 66, announced that at the full plenary session of the German bishops' conference in early March, he will not be a candidate for another term as president.

"My consideration is that at the end of a possible second term of office I would be 72 years old, and then I would also be approaching the end of my duties as archbishop of Munich and Freising," Marx said in his letter to the members of the German bishops' conference. His remarks were reported by the German Catholic news agency KNA.

Advertisement

"I find it is now the turn of the younger generation," added Cardinal Marx, a member of Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals.

The German bishops are due to hold their next regularly scheduled elections at the spring full assembly in early March in Mainz. Cardinal Marx said he made his decision not to stand for reelection a long time ago, but it surprised many Feb. 11, KNA reported.

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

"Naturally I will continue to work actively with the bishops' conference, and I will especially be involved with the Synodal Path, which in my view has started out well," he said. At the same time he also aimed to again show a stronger presence in his Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, where a "comprehensive strategy process" is to get underway.

The Synodal Path is a joint project of the bishops' conference and Catholic laypeople with the aim of recovering lost trust that resulted from the sex abuse scandal in the church.

The Central Committee of German Catholics, the highest group representing laypeople in the church in Germany, expressed its "great regret and highest respect" for the decision by Cardinal Marx, KNA reported.

"Cardinal Marx has performed most magnificently in winning back trust and credibility in the Catholic Church," Thomas Sternberg, committee president, said Feb. 11. He stressed that the cardinal had embodied "the hope for a new image of the church in Germany."

The president of the bishops' conference chairs the meetings of the bishops and represents them to the state and society as a whole. In public, he is the spokesman for the bishops, and in carrying out his office he is bound by their decisions.

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

Advertisement
More: Bishops / Europe

The latest from america

The Amazon synod wrought three significant changes in the Catholic Church's way of proceeding.
Mauricio López OropezaFebruary 19, 2020
A leader of the Celia Xakriaba peoples walks along the banks of the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, in Brazil’s Xingu Indigenous Park on Jan. 15, 2020. (CNS photo/Ricardo Moraes, Reuters)
The apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia,” conveys the suffering of the Amazon and its people in stark terms, writes Vincent J. Miller. We must not be distracted from its message.
Vincent J. MillerFebruary 19, 2020
Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. human rights chief, called on Syria and its allies to permit safe humanitarian corridors to be set up in the conflict areas.
This week on the “Inside the Vatican” podcast, the hosts take a deep dive into “Querida Amazonia.”
Colleen DulleFebruary 19, 2020