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Mixa returns to bishop's palace quarters in 'defiance'

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Mixa returns to bishop's palace quarters in 'defiance'
A file photo of Mixa in his bishop's garb. Photo: DPA
09:00 CEST+02:00
Controversial former Augsburg bishop Walter Mixa has returned to live at the bishop's palace despite his resignation over alleged child abuse and misuse of church funds, a media report said on Monday.

Mixa, who stepped down in April following accusations that he beat children at a Catholic orphanage in the 1970s and 1980s, returned to his quarters at the palace on Saturday because he had apparently had nowhere else to stay.

“He lives here like before, he can't go camping,” his lawyer told daily Augsburger Zeitung, adding that it was up to him how long he would remain.

The move by Mixa is reportedly causing a stir among church officials, who view it as an act of defiance, a high-ranking diocese figure told the paper. As a retired bishop he no longer has the right to occupy his old apartment and must first apply for permission from the diocese administrator. It remains unclear whether he has done this, the paper said.

Pope Benedict XVI officially accepted Mixa's resignation on May 8. The move came after persistent allegations 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 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.”

A special investigation into activities at the children's home and the charitable foundation running it highlighted a number of seemingly questionable purchases signed off by Mixa.

These included spending 15,000 Deutsche marks on a Mary icon, DM43,000 on a probably counterfeit Piransi engraving, and DM70,500 on a fancy crucifix. Thousands were also spent on wine.

Local prosecutors had also begun an investigation into possible child sexual abuse by Mixa, but the case was dropped in mid-May.

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