German bishop tenders his resignation over abuse: report

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One of Germany's top bishops has tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI after admitting hitting children, a newspaper report in said on Thursday.

The bishop of Augsburg in southern Germany, Walter Mixa, who is also bishop of the German military, offered to quit in a letter to the German-born pontiff on Wednesday, the Augsburger Allgemeine local daily said.

Contacted by AFP, the German bishops' conference declined to comment. It was not clear if Pope Benedict would automatically accept the resignation, reports said.

Mixa at first rebuffed accusations that he beat children at a Roman Catholic orphanage in the 1970s and 1980s, but he has since admitted the abuse and on Tuesday publicly asked for forgiveness.

He is not accused of any sexual abuse, however.

The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked in recent months by ballooning sexual abuse scandal, with hundreds of people coming forward in Germany and other countries around the world saying they were molested by predatory priests.

© 2010 AFP

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