The 73-year-old archibishop of cape coast in Ghana Apphiah Turkson resigned because he was reportedly “fed up” with internal disputes in the Catholic Church.
Following a continuation of the clergy child sexual abuse scandal, and a new 2021 report alleging that more than 200,000 minors were abused by the Catholic Church in France over the past seven decades.
In June 2021, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx sent a letter of resignation as a symbol of the church’s “systemic failure” on child abuse and said that he wanted to “share the responsibility” of the mishandling of cases. Even though the Pope Francis denied Marx’s request, commanding him to continue as archbishop.
“It is urgent to air out this reality of the abuses and how the Church acted, and let the Spirit lead us to the desert of desolation, to the cross and to the resurrection,” said the Pope in a statement responding to the heightened calls for the church to address the longstanding issues of sexual assault.
“Silences, omissions, and giving too much weight to the prestige of the institution only leads to personal and historical failure, and makes us live with the weight of having skeletons in the closet,” he added.
According to Church rules, Turkson would still be eligible to be a part of the group of cardinals that gets to elect the next pope after Francis dies or retires.
Despite not giving an official reason for his resignation, Vatican sources say that Turkson will give more information after the Pope makes his decision.