Walter Mixa of Augsburg has become the first Bishop in the Pope’s native Germany to resign in the wave of sexual abuse scandals to hit the Roman Catholic church.
Mixa had already offered to quit over claims he hit children – that offer was refused by the church – but his position became untenable on Friday when German prosecutors said they were also investigating allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
“Pope Benedict has made a decision and accepted the resignation of Bishop Walter Mixa,” said the head of the catholic church in Germany. “Hence clarity has been provided and a chance has been created to start afresh in Augsburg and for all of us to look ahead together. I thank Pope Benedict for the quick decision and the help this has meant for all of us.”
In the face of mounting criticism of his handling of sexual abuse allegations, the Pope has accepted the resignations of a number of Bishops in recent weeks.
Mixa was a member of the Conservative traditionalist wing of the Church who had been promoted to high office by the Pope himelf.