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Reinhard Cardinal Marx told reporters last March that “We are not a subsidiary of Rome. The Synod cannot prescribe in detail what we should do in Germany.”Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews

VATICAN CITY, Italy, October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – German Cardinal Reinhard Marx suggested to the Youth Synod in Rome that more women in leadership positions in the Church is the answer to the Church’s sex abuse crisis.

In his October 11 intervention, Marx proposed giving women more leadership roles in the Church, claiming this step would help fight sexual abuse committed by “closed clerical [male] circles” in the Church. While Pope Francis has stated that “clericalism” is the cause of the crisis, evidence from abuse reports suggests that homosexuality in the priesthood as the underlying cause. 

Marx’s full speech, which is entirely dedicated to the promotion of the influence of women in the Church, was published in and translated by LifeSiteNews’ Maike Hickson.

In his speech, Marx, the president of the German Bishops' Conference and archbishop of Munich-Freising, quotes the recently published 2018 MHG Study on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Germany. The study was funded by the German bishops. 

The study had said in part, “clerical structures and a clerical governance in the Catholic Church” are the main causes of the sex abuse crisis.

“Women in leadership positions in the Church decisively contribute to the breaking up of such closed clerical circles,” Marx said.

Further pointing to the purported problem of a male-dominated Church, Marx added, “The impression that the Church – when it is about power – is finally a Church of men has to be overcome in the Universal Church and also here in the Vatican. Otherwise, young women will not find here no true creative options.”

“It is about time!” Marx concluded in his feminism-touting speech.

Marx, taking part in the Youth Synod by papal invitation, also said this week that priestly celibacy is one factor that could lead to sexual abuse. He conceded late last month to breaking the German Church’s regulations on investigating claims by clerical sexual abuse victims at least two times.

The progressive Marx, also one of Pope Francis’ Council of advisor cardinals, and a proponent of allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, has also said the German Church is not a subsidiary of Rome .

Marx reminded the Church in his Synod speech that already in 2013 the German bishops had promised to “increase significantly the amount of women in leading positions in the Church that are available for laypeople.” 

He also said that the German bishops intended to study further “in theological and pastoral terms the participation of women (as well as laymen in general) in leadership positions.” 

The cardinal also reminded his audience of several projects that the German bishops have launched in order to promote women in the Church. 

They published in 2015, for example, a document called “To be together Church” which deals with theological questions of women in leading roles in the Church. Moreover, a mentoring program for women has prepared nearly 100 women for leadership positions in the Church.

Additionally, the cardinal pointed to a Day of Study during which the German bishops discussed the gender debate, to include “questions concerning anthropology and sexual morality, the theology of the Sacraments and of the [ecclesial] offices, as well as concerning more equality of the sexes in the Church beyond traditional roles of the sexes and role patterns.”

For Marx, it is not sufficient “to repeat the pertinent magisterial texts” about the dignity of women. 

“We have to face the often uncomfortable and impatient questions of the youth about the equality of women also in the Church,” he stated. 

For the sake of the Church's “own credibility,” Marx said, she has to give women more participation and leadership, and this “on all levels of the Church, from the parish up to the levels of the diocese, the bishops' conference, and even in the Vatican.” 

“We really have to want it and implement it!” Marx insisted.

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