Pope Francis does not accept the resignation of the Archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Hesse, and asks him to continue his work “in the spirit of reconciliation and service to God”.
Hesse had tendered his resignation in March after being accused in an investigative report of negligent conduct in multiple reports of child abuse in the Catholic Church. He denies these allegations.
Hesse says he is aware that “it will not be easy to continue my work”. The allegations come from when Hesse was not yet an archbishop, but when he was still working for the Archdiocese of Cologne. It concerned eleven incidents in which, for example, he had not passed on reports of abuse.
On the day the report came out, Hesse denied the allegations but tendered his resignation anyway. He said he was doing this to avoid damage to the diocese.
The Vatican acknowledges that there were “shortcomings” in the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. However, the church says it has found no evidence of deliberate covering up of abuse.
In March, an 800-page report was released on the systematic concealment of child abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne between 1975 and 2018. The authors of this report said they found more than 200 abusers and 300 victims, most of whom were under the age of 14. goods.