German bishop's resignation accepted by Pope Benedict

.- The Holy Father accepted the resignation of German Bishop Walter Mixa on Saturday. The bishop had filed his resignation less than a month ago after allegations surfaced that he had physically abused children in the 70s and 80s.

Bishop Mixa had been nominated to lead the Diocese of Augsburg, Germany by Pope Benedict XVI shortly after his election as Peter's Successor in 2005.

The German bishop, who was also Germany's Military Ordinary, wrote the Holy Father on April 22 of this year asking to be relieved of his duties to "avert further damage to the Church and to allow a new start.” .

Allegations that he had physically abused children at an orphanage where he served in the 70s and 80s led to his resignation. When they surfaced, he first denied that he had hit the children but later confirmed that he could not "rule out the odd smack in the face 20 years ago."

Investigations into possible financial improprieties during his time as bishop are also underway and, as Reuters reported on Friday, the German justice system has just begun preliminary investigations into accusations of sexual abuse against Bishop Mixa. The accusations refer to the bishop's time at the head of the Diocese of Eichstaett, Germany from 1996-2000.

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