Berlin, Germany, Jun 16, 2010 / 16:00 pm
The former Bishop of Augsburg, Germany, Walter Mixa, has told a German newspaper that he was forced to sign his April 22 letter of resignation, and that it was written by others. He plans on discussing the matter with Pope Benedict in a July audience.
Earlier this year, Bishop Mixa was accused of physically abusing children under his care at an orphanage in the 1980s. The prelate was also accused of embezzling part of the orphanage's endowment. All of this took place during the heightened media attention spotlighting the Catholic Church regarding clerical sexual abuse and the attempt to pin its mishandling on Pope Benedict.
Augsburg’s Auxiliary Bishop Anton Losinger later disclosed an allegation of sexual abuse against Bishop Mixa to the press. The allegation was later proven to have no grounds.
On April 22, Bishop Mixa submitted his letter of resignation to the Pope. Three days later, he sent a fax to the Holy Father withdrawing his resignation. On May 8, Pope Benedict accepted the resignation in an unprecedentedly rapid process.