.- Bishop Konrad Zdarsa was appointed to the Diocese of Augsburg, Germany on Thursday. He takes the place of Bishop Walter Mixa, who resigned from the post earlier this year under pressure after past misdeeds came to light.
Bishop Mixa's resignation was accepted by the Holy Father on May 8, 2010 after it was discovered that he had physically abused orphaned children and misused funds destined for their care.
Although he made public statements that he was "forced" to step down and wished to return to the bishop's office, after a meeting with the Pope last Thursday, his resignation was confirmed. During the meeting, he admitted that he had committed "errors" and asked for forgiveness.
The newly appointed Bishop Zdarsa will come to the Diocese of Augsburg from that of Gorlitz, Germany, where he has been for a little more than three years.
According to a brief biography released by the Holy See's Press Office, he has been a priest since 1974 and has served in a variety of posts including work as parish priest, in diocesan curial positions and as a president of a diocesan chapter of Caritas.
Since 2004, he has been the Vicar General of the Diocese of Dresden- Meißen while also being the head of personnel there. He was ordained the Bishop of Gorlitz on April 24, 2007.
Bishops Zdarsa and Mixa will be in communication following the new bishop's appointment. As the Vatican statement explained following last week's audience with the Pope, after a "time of silence, contemplation and prayer, and ... a period of healing and reconciliation (Bishop Mixa) - as other bishops emeritus - will be available for pastoral duties, in accordance with his successor."
That statement also included Pope Benedict XVI's plea to the faithful of the Diocese of Augsburg to "welcome the bishop that he will designate as successor to Bishop Mixa with an open heart."