..The VaticanannouncedMarch 25 that the pope had acceptedBishop Franz-Josef Bode’s resignation as head of the Diocese of Osnabrück, in northwestern Germany, but gave no reason for the step.
Bode is 72, three years below the age when diocesan bishops are required to offer their resignations to the pope. He is the deputy chairman of the country’s bishops’ conference and one of the four chief organizers of the controversial “synodal way.”
Days after the synodal way’s final plenary meeting on March 9-11, Bode invited same-sex and remarried couples to contact his diocese about receiving blessings after the synodal way endorsed “blessing ceremonies for couples who love each other.”
…“Particularly in dealing with cases of sexualized violence by clergy, for a long time, I myself tended to focus more on the perpetrators and the institution than on the victims.”
“I misjudged cases, often acted hesitantly and made some wrong decisions, and failed to live up to my responsibility as a bishop at these points.”
He added: “I expressly acknowledge my responsibility as well as my personal mistakes, and today I can only once again ask all those affected for forgiveness.”