German bishop resigns over mistreatment and ‘failing health’

Franz Josef Bode, vice-president of the German Bishops’ Conference, tendered his resignation to the Vatican over errors in its handling of the abuse crisis. He is not the first German bishop to do so, but he is the first whose resignation was accepted.

The news agency reported that the 72-year-old Bode, who was bishop in Osnabrück until his resignation, had resigned primarily because of his mistakes in addressing sexual abuse in his diocese. KNA.

In addition, his “failing health” also plays a role in his decision. As a result, Bode does not expect to be able to remain in office until he is 75, the usual retirement age for a bishop.

The Vatican was surprised

The Vatican was surprised this weekend by announcing that Pope Francis had accepted Bishop Budd’s request to resign. Other German bishops, including Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Archbishop of Hamburg Stefan Heye, have previously resigned over flaws in their approach to abuse, but Pope Francis has rejected their requests.

The Vatican did not explain why Bodhi was allowed to go and the others were required to stay. His health status could be a factor, but his role as one of the driving forces behind the synodal path could also play a role. Rome views this reform project with suspicion. The Vatican tried several times to stop the project.


In September 2022, the University of Osnabrück published a report on the abuse approach in the diocese, which showed that serious mistakes were made and Bode himself was also negligent in many cases. According to Bode, this report “made it clear to him the mistakes made [ik] Made to Handle Abuse Cases.”

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Megan Vasquez

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