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German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki (CNS/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki has expressed profound disappointment over an internal IT report finding that employees in his Cologne Archdiocese had attempted to access pornographic websites. Source: National Catholic Register.

“To some, the consumption of pornography may seem harmless. But I stand firmly with Pope Francis, who unequivocally condemns it and warns of its insidious dangers, particularly the egregious violation of human dignity,” Cardinal Woelki said, according to CNA Deutsch.

“Upon learning of this unsettling news, I immediately called for a thorough examination of the incidents and insisted they be addressed in strict accordance with legal regulations,” the German prelate said in a public statement.

German media outlets reported that the archdiocese’s internal investigation exonerated the cardinal, confirming he was not among the “users of the incriminated sites.”

Cologne’s public prosecutor’s office, which is in possession of the archdiocese’s list of implicated users, stated that there was “currently no suspicion” of criminal activity warranting an investigation, CNA Deutsch reported.

Cardinal Woelki took the opportunity to defend the reputation of the Church’s workforce. “We have a large number of committed and reliable employees in the Church sector. It is crucial to me that we do not cast a shadow of general suspicion over everyone at this time,” he emphasised.

The archdiocese revealed that the discovery was made during a routine IT security check undertaken a while ago. “There had been no indications of criminally relevant behaviour,” the archdiocese stated.

Pope Francis has been vocal about the perils of pornography, warning that it “weakens the soul”. 


German Cardinal Disappointed Over Staff’s Attempts to Access Pornography (By Tyler Arnold, CNA via National Catholic Register)