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Bishop Mixa resigns

The Local · 22 Apr 2010, 07:58

Published: 22 Apr 2010 07:58 GMT+02:00

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Following weeks of claims of child beatings at the Schrobenhausen children’s home – and further suggestions he may have misused Church funds – Bishop Mixa, 68, sent a resignation letter to the Vatican to avoid further damage to the Church’s reputation, Mixa's office confirmed Thursday morning.

“I am taking this step in the unshakeable faith in God’s mercy and confidently hope that the Father in heaven will lead the Church of Augsburg to a good future,” he wrote, according to daily Augsburger Allgemeine.

His resignation would apply to his positions as Bishop of Augsburg and Catholic Military Bishop for the German Bundeswehr.

The resignation follows earlier remarks by the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Robert Zollitsch, which appeared to distance the Church from Bishop Mixa by publicly asking him to take a break from his duties.

Zollitsch said he had asked Mixa to take a “period of spiritual reflection and physical distance” from the Augsburg diocese – a move widely seen as unique in the Church’s recent history that had been coordinated with the Vatican.

Pope Benedict must still accept Bishop Mixa’s resignation before it is final. It would represent an extraordinary blow to the Church in the midst of a turbulent period in which it has been battered by allegations of child sex abuse in Germany and around the world.

Mixa, who is bishop in the Bavarian city of Augsburg, has faced weeks of mounting claims that he hit and beat children while he was a teacher at Schrobenhausen children’s home during the 1970s and 1980s. Eight people who lived at the home have come forward with claims that he beat them with his fists, a stick and even a carpet beater.

After weeks of flat denials, Mixa recently admitted he could “not rule out a cuff or two around the ear 20 years ago” and added that “I very much regret that today.”

Story continues below…

An investigation by lawyer Sebastian Knott has also found that Mixa, as head of the board of trustees of the Catholic Orphanage Foundation, may have spent the institution's money on art, wine and jewellery.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:57 April 22, 2010 by Christine1
I went to a German Catholic school for 12 yrs, graduating in 1970. The nuns used to use corporal punishment on us all- girls, and boys!! It was the norm then. When I was in grade 2 a nun came up from behind me, grabbed my hair, and shook my head for doing something minor. Kids were paddled in front of the class. I remember seeing one boy in grade six being thrown across the classrm by a nun. Left lifelong scars.
10:52 April 22, 2010 by Portnoy
Ah, so if you beat children you have to resign but if you bugger them you just get reassigned. Glad the church has its priorities straight.
11:53 April 22, 2010 by LancashireLad
It actually all depends on how much pressure is being put on the pope. I hope that Richard Dawkins manages to get the pope arrested when he visits the UK.
12:03 April 22, 2010 by Zobirdie
You know, I think we are going overboard with this constant judgment of the past by modern standards.

I'm not saying that what happened was in anyway, shape, or form, right. But in that era, it was standard and accepted. Are they going to charge every clergy member who ever spanked a child? What about parents? I Personally don't think that light corporal punishment of children is such a bad thing. I'm not talking leaving bruises here. I have no issue with spanking - I was spanked - even hit with a wooden spoon (*shock horror*) - and I don't think I was so hard done by.

We are so quick to hold all our injuries close to our chest and nurse them into a state of mania.
13:16 April 22, 2010 by cobalisk
This is not a mere case of revisionism. The allegations are quite serious and far and away more injurious than 'spanking' or even Mixa's own admission of "cuffs about the ear".

Beating a child with fists or sticks is a serious matter. While debate about the role of corporal punishment (i.e. paddling or spanking) persist, there are few who could reasonably claim that punching a child or hitting a child with a stick are appropriate disciplinary measures. This is the heart of the matter, not that discipline was enforced or even rigid but that the methods of inflicting punishment were far in excess of acceptable or defendable norms regardless of what year they occurred.
13:57 April 22, 2010 by LancashireLad
I agree with Zobirdie in that I also see no wrong about the slap as shock therapy for a child. I got it too. "Oh but if you show violence to a child, it will become violent." Crap. I'm not violent, neither is anyone else I know who was similarly disciplined. The problem is people who can't control it, or use it for any reason, and then, as cobalisk says, start with fists and sticks (mind you the school cane was a stick, was it not).

To get back to the subject, though. Mixa has not resigned just because he "might have delivered a cuff around the ear". There is a bit more to it than that. Like church funds that haven't yet been satisfactorily accounted for.
17:55 April 22, 2010 by KyleHawkins
"sent a resignation letter to the Vatican to avoid further damage to the Church¦#39;s reputation"

Just more of the same really. All the pedophiles swept into other regions were also to avoid damage to the Church's reputation.

No one has changed, neither has their priority changed.
08:13 April 23, 2010 by alexingohr
So he resigns, with the money he seems to have which was assigned for an orphanage, probably with a good pension too.

Will the law act? I doubt it ...

Sitting there enjoying "his" (or the church's) wine, art and jewellery
14:47 April 23, 2010 by ahorn 56
As a Christian who takes the Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth seriously, I feel ashamed that bishop Mixa has to first come under public pressure before he now admits, after weeks of flat denials, he could ¦quot;not rule out a cuff or two around the ear 20 years ago¦quot; and added that ¦quot;I very much regret that today.¦quot; To say that took him weeks!!! And this is only a part of what victims reported about him. And now, since he has offered to resign, what does he expect shall happen? Absoulution? And what about all the other abuse cases which have been brought to light during the last weeks.? It is high time to call things by their name and to help make public the fact that the Catholic church has little in common with the teachings of the greatest prophet of all times, Jesus of Nazareth, who said "Let the children come to me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14). And what have the clergymen made of these words during the past centuries? One aspect that keeps being swept under the carpet is: What is it about this institution that promotes such behavioral aberrance on the part of its priests? Surely the answer to such a question can best serve all concerned.
12:48 April 25, 2010 by homeboy
My sister is a pubic school teacher, she stands 5" nothing, and never hit a child, never raised her voice and never had a discipline problem. If you have to resort to corporal punishment to control your students you have no business teaching children. The reality is that these nuns and priests are nothing more than sadistic pricks.
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