“I bear responsibility for this, also for the system in the diocese,” Bode said in a statement Tuesday

“I had wanted this interim report so that the truth would also come to light as quickly as possible,” he said. “Now I am very concerned about how blind we have actually been and how blind I have been for the suffering and the perspectives of those affected.”

At a press conference on Thursday, Bode said he consulted with those he works with and, rather than resign, “decided to do my best for the rest of my term of office and to take on the tasks and duties to follow up, which the interim report already shows, and also to face the results of the final report,” CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported.

The 71-year-old bishop has been vice president of the German bishops’ conference since 2017. He is also vice president of the German Synodal Way.

He has publically supported women deacons and the development of a Church ceremony for blessing same-sex unions.

The final report of the abuse study, which is being conducted by the University of Osnabrück on behalf of the diocese, is expected to be made public in September 2024.