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Bishop Mixa under fire for sexual abuse scandal comments
Photo: DPA

Bishop Mixa under fire for sexual abuse scandal comments

Published: 19 Feb 2010 12:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Feb 2010 12:30 GMT+01:00

Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa on Friday faced continuing criticism for claiming the sexual revolution was partially to blame for the widespread abuse of children at German Catholic schools.

The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Mixa’s remarks had caused a rift within his diocese, with one church official saying they were “depressingly imprudent” and the situation was “increasingly embarrassing” having to explain the bishop’s latest “blunder.”

“The leadership hasn’t realised how this looks to the congregation,” said an unidentified member of the Augsburg diocese council.

No stranger to controversy, Mixa sparked outrage this week for saying the systematic sexual abuse recently uncovered at several Catholic schools could be traced to the promotion of more liberal attitudes towards sex.

“The so-called sexual revolution, in which some especially progressive moral critics supported the legalisation of sexual contact between adults and children, is certainly not innocent,” he told the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.

The Catholic theologian Uta Rank-Heinemann told the website of news magazine Focus on Thursday that Mixa was essentially trying to shirk the blame for the horrible sexual abuse.

“The important thing is that someone else is responsible,” she said.

The abuse scandal that was uncovered at Berlin’s prestigious Canisius school last month continues to grow, with around 50 former students claiming they were sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s.

But lawyers for victims have said more than 115 people across the country have since come forward with allegations of abuse by up to 12 different priests and teachers at other Catholic institutions too.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:19 February 19, 2010 by romber58
He got it exactly the wrong way around: The so-called "sexual revolution" made it possible and even acceptable in the first place that these religious perverts could be called to account..

Thank you to "Der Spiegel" and i look forward to a similar exposee of the Polish child abusers .

The zeitgeist is telling me that the hypocrites are on the defensive and i am so pleased.
15:20 February 19, 2010 by HarryR
The more these elderly, sex obsessed, power mad moralisers open their mouths the more I realise that they are so isolated up their ivory towers that they have no idea how absurd they sound. Imagine a world were their writ ruled again, backed by 21st century enforcement technology.

They claim to be concerned about the afterlife but they act with an intense interest in power and good living during this life. Their 'apologies' for the sex abuse of children trusted to their care are worthless and intended only for public relations. They have known about the abuses for decades ( if not 100s or 1000s of years) and managed them in the interests of the catholic church and not the victims, with an annual budget for shush money and practised intimidation techniques.

Organised religions are a nonsense. Believe in a god or gods if you wish but how can you look to these hypocritical anti-democrats as a guide to ethical behaviour?
19:48 February 19, 2010 by romber58
I cant wait until the Polish children start to tell their story...
22:18 February 19, 2010 by Alex Coman
@romber58:

Maybe Polish are not like Germans...

In fact, there's a fact they have no sadistic pleasures as Germans do.

You know, history...
22:50 February 19, 2010 by Thames
@Alex Coman

If only Germans are sadists, a comment which is clearly false on the face, how to you explain the sex abuse scadals in Ireland, Canada the US etc.

How do you explain the abuse of minorities, including Germans and Jews in Poland? As any objective observor with even limited knowledge of human behavior or history can attest abuse of those in Power are not limited to Catholics, Priests or Germans.

Public schools, priasons reform institutions, military organizations and orphans homes have always been full of abuse. Wherever there is a place where people have power over others abuse often occurs.

On the whole the Catholic Church has done much to feed the hungry and teach children where there is no public education. Criminals should be punished and children protected no matter who causes the harm.

Poles are very much like Germans because they are humans and humans are capable of many abuses. The only differance is that the Germans are better organized and there are more of them.
23:17 February 19, 2010 by Alex Coman
@Thames

"Poles are very much like Germans because they are humans and humans are capable of many abuses." Some of them, humans, are more than others capable of abuses. More capable because...are better organized. Because are better...

Better.

I never said only Germans are sadist. But I can t stop thinking. Ok, this is not the Germans problem, this is the modern world problem. It s funny how some people look from above
01:09 February 20, 2010 by Thames
@Alex Coman

I agree this is a world problem. I can only hope and pray that the Catholic Church World Wide takes steps to correct this problem and compensate the victims wherever they are found.
03:59 February 20, 2010 by Davey-jo
I speak as one who is sickened by the Catholic church's failure to be open to investigation and their resistance to inquiry.

It is now obvious that the Catholic Church will cover up this heinous crime. It is difficult to see how diplomatic efforts will cut though the mire of obfuscation that the Catholic Church has naturally thrown up. It will not serve them too well however and they know it.

We will go for your errant priests and we will prosecute.

Have no fear.
08:37 February 20, 2010 by berlinski
Bunch of perverts in frocks! Sexual revolution is responsible, he says. I would say it is responsible for LESS perverts joining the priesthood and interfering with children because they can get their rocks off easier in normal society than before the sexual revolution.
10:25 February 20, 2010 by mixxim
About ten years ago a teacher at Tonbridge School in Kent was arrested by Munich police for Paedophelia offences, the assistant chaplain was released by german police for cooperation leading to the arrest in Germany of many others and was sent back to England. On his return he was immediately sacked by the school but was then accepted by a monastry and the affair was hushed up by the school and church.
17:33 February 20, 2010 by Talonx
Thames, "we can only pray", actually you can do a hell of alot more than that. Then again, this is one of the essential problem with religions anytime something nasty happens you can resort to your magical handclasping procedures instead of actually doing something.
12:31 February 22, 2010 by rosenthalenglish
I personally think Bishop Mixa is right in what he says.He was set up by the paper who then got Claudia Roth of the Greens to attack him in the next days issue.Also how convieniant that an "unnammed person " within his Diocese attacked him.Now when our the German Governmant going to come clean and tell us how many cases of paedophilia happened in state schools during the same time period?Bishop Mixa was very clear in saying how disgusting the whole thing was that Priests in the Catholic Church had commited such terrible offences.He was not making excuses for the behaviour but pointing out what he thought could be one of the causes of such behaviour.I agree with him.If only all those to whom sex is so important they cannot go without it could see the wool in front of their eyes.It has been known in Phychiatry circles for ages that porn has a bad effect on people and in some people who have weak characters,it makes them feel small.They then try to cover this inability to have sex with an adult by finding young children.Why are we not asking just how much does this go on in society as a whole and not just within the Catholic Church.Surely it is evil always?Not just when a Catholic Priest has commited the offence!
01:38 February 23, 2010 by Jorgens
This is a terrible thing, indeed. But we in America are noticing even more instances of abuse in Jewish and Protestant clergy. They are much less forthcoming than the Catholic Church in reporting their sexual sins, but they are there, none the less. This is certainly not just a Catholic problem.
15:36 February 24, 2010 by HarryR
For an example of official catholic morality see (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7926694.stm)
17:04 February 26, 2010 by Talonx
rosenthalenglish, NO, it is not true that pornography causes pedophilia. Some pop-psychologists and psychiatrists thought it was true about 50 years ago, but not a single one of them will you find, with any success in pushing there hypotheses today. Pedophilia, is far more complex than you might think. As for state schools, the rate is far lower as most that teach in state schools have better qualification and more extensive training and vetting when it comes to interacting with children.

Jorgens, the Catholic church is NOT forthcoming in the least. This is a victim/survivor advocacy issue, there is way more of this sort of work due to campaigning by people like Sinead O'conner in the 80's.
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