In a curious twist, a bishop who made headlines over abuse allegations, and quit, is now having second thoughts:
A former German bishop said Wednesday his peers in the Roman Catholic church pressured him into resigning over abuse allegations and that he is considering appealing his case to the Vatican court.
The Rev. Walter Mixa’s claims — published in an interview by the daily Die Welt — prompted immediate rebuttals from both his former diocese in Augsburg and the archdiocese in nearby Munich, which said in a statement “everything was done according to the rules.”
Mixa, the most prominent cleric within the German catholic hierarchy to lose his post over the country’s spiraling abuse scandal, offered his resignation on April 22 over allegations that he hit children decades ago as a priest. He had initially denied the reports, only to add later that he may have slapped kids.
After he offered to resign, public prosecutors launched an investigation into an allegation of sexual abuse against Mixa, but ended up dropping the case.
In the interview, the former bishop said his resignation letter to Pope Benedict XVI was drafted by other clerics.
“The pressure under which I signed the prewritten resignation was similar to purgatory,” Mixa was quoted as saying.
“Three days later, I repealed it in a letter to the pope,” he said. “During those days I was desperate not knowing what to do.”
Nonetheless, the pontiff accepted the resignation on May 8.
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