Munich – Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx said he viewed the decision not to publish an investigation into clergy sexual abuse undertaken by the Archdiocese of Cologne as “devastating” for the entire Catholic Church.

“The public now realizes that lawyers are quibbling over details on the backs of the victims,” ​​Marx said in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung published on December 15.

The former president of the German Bishops’ Conference said he plans to publish a comparable report on the Archdiocese of Munich in its entirety by the same law firm after its presentation in 2021.

Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki tasked the cabinet to examine the role of senior Cologne church officials in handling cases of sexual abuse in the church.

Woelki originally announced that the report would be released, but a few weeks ago he said his methodology was flawed and refrained from releasing it. Subsequently, the Archdiocese said the report would be made available “as legally possible” to individuals such as victim-survivors and journalists.

Referring to the forthcoming Munich report, Marx said he had the same brief as the study conducted for the diocese of Aachen, “those responsible must therefore be named.” Marx said that it could not be about sparing his predecessors such as Cardinals Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) and Friedrich Wetter.

“Everyone knows who has been Archbishop of Munich and Freising for the past decades or who has held other positions of responsibility, including me,” Marx said.

In the meantime, it emerged that Woelki has separated from his communications director, Markus Günther. This was first reported by the local newspaper Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger.

The Archdiocese declared on December 15 that Günther was returning to the United States. “I am leaving on good terms and look forward to having more time for my family and more time to write again,” Günther said in the statement.

Church sources said there had been disagreements between Woelki and Günther for some time. The media expert reportedly advised the cardinal to publish the Cologne abuse report.

The Archdiocese of Cologne has commissioned legal expert Björn Gercke to conduct a new investigation, which should be available by March 2021 at the latest. This plan of action has led to massive criticism inside and outside the church. The president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, also voiced criticism.

Günther, who started his work in February 2019, was the third communications director of the Archdiocese of Cologne in a few years.