Pope meets controversial German ex-bishop

1st July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday met a controversial German ex-bishop who resigned after admitting he beat children in a Catholic orphanage, the Vatican said.

The meeting seemingly put an end to what the Vatican called an "out of proportion" controversy.

During Thursday's meeting, Mixa "again acknowledged his mistakes and faults that caused a loss of trust and made resignation inevitable. He again asked foregiveness for all his mistakes," the Vatican said.

Walter Mixa, 69, at first rebuffed allegations that he had beaten children and youths between 1975 and 1996, but then admitted them and tendered his resignation as bishop of Augsburg and military bishop in April. The pope has accepted the resignation.

"During the meeting this decision has been confirmed. Bishop Mixa will withdraw for a period of silence, of meditation and of prayer," the Vatican said in a statement.

Like other European countries, Germany has been rocked in recent months by revelations that hundreds of children were physically or sexually abused in institutions, the vast majority Catholic-run.

The scandal has badly damaged the standing of the Church in Germany, as well as the pope, who is German, five years after his appointment as leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics was a source of great national pride.

© 2010 AFP

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