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Bishop Mixa reaffirms resignation; German bishops’ conference confirms 'secret dossier'

Catholic World News - June 23, 2010

A German bishop who resigned in the face of abuse charges, then threatened to rescind his resignation, has announced that he will adhere to his decision to resign, and apologized for his misconduct.

Bishop Walter Mixa, who stepped down in May from his post as head of the Augsberg diocese, signed a written agreement with the diocese promising that he "will not question his resignation again." The agreement appears to end an ugly public dispute that had escalated when Bishop Mixa charged other German bishops with pressuring him to resign. He had moved back into the episcopal residence in Augsburg and said that he would ask the Pope to reinstate him. Soon after Bishop Mixa made his charges, German media outlets made public the contents of a "secret dossier" that had reportedly been sent to Pope Benedict, and formed the basis for the Pope's decision to accept the bishop's resignation. The dossier depicted Bishop Mixa as severely alcoholic and out of touch with reality; it also included charges of sexual abuse.

The German bishops’ conference issued a statement on June 22 to “confirm that accusations now made public in the media were passed on to Rome in April 2010” about Bishop Mixa. Bishop Mixa has admitted that he may have been guilty of physical abuse, but he emphatically denied allegations of sexual abuse. German police investigated the sex-abuse charges and dismissed them.

According to German media reports, the dossier sent to Rome stated that Bishop Mixa drank throughout the day and made homosexual advances to two priests in the 1990s.

Without directly responding to the charges, Bishop Mixa has now written an apology for his "many mistakes."

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