The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Bishop who resigned changes his mind

posted by jmcgee

In a curious twist, a bishop who made headlines over abuse allegations, and quit, is now having second thoughts:

ALeqM5gAW6XtINcHZw3ng941SDIcn-UMaA.jpegA 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“Three days later, I repealed it in a letter to the pope,” he said.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.

You can read more at the link.



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pagansister

posted June 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm


This man “may have slapped” children, according to his own admission. Though not “sex” abuse, I consider slapping children abuse. From what I have heard over the years, from friends my age who went to RC schools, the nuns used rulers on the knuckles as a form of discipline, and that as well as verbal abuse, were common. I’m sure not all nuns did this, but if they did, it was considered OK. Being over 60, and having taught 10 years in an RC school,(until 2005) this is most certainly not the case any more. Of course, there were no nuns teaching in my school, only lay teachers. We had to be very careful in what we did…and most certainly weren’t to hit a child or verbally abuse one either. As to this Bishop being reinstated? I think he should just forget it….slapping a child isn’t what a person in authority should be doing. Only proves that he is bigger than they are. There are much more affective ways to handle children.



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Conservative

posted June 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm


I might add that slapping and other forms of corporal punishment were also present in public and private schools in former years and rather common.
And not all nuns hit with rulers. That drama has taken on a life of its own. In any case, a slap does not compare with sexual abuse.



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pagansister

posted June 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm


Guess my friends lied then, right Conservative? I never said all nuns were abusive…”I’m sure not all nuns did this…” from my post.
Slapping most certainly isn’t sexual abuse, but it is physical abuse. I’m sure it had an effect on those that received it…not always for the good. I attended public schools and taught in them. As to teachers slapping a student…that wasn’t allowed either. The teacher was removed for doing it in one of the public schools I taught in. There was the use of a paddle, but only could be administerd by the principal, with another teacher present. This was used only in a few cases….and I personally don’t approve of that either. The one child I had to watch get a couple of whacks with the paddle? He didn’t improve his behavior….so what point did it make? Just made him more defiante. Physical punishment isn’t the answer to anything.



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Conservative

posted June 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm


I am not saying physical punishment accomplishes anything but I am sure many of us got a slap and much more, including me, and it didn’t harm me in the least. Corporal punishment in public schools and private academies was commonplace years ago but it doesn’t get the play that the nuns get.
A smack or slap is not anything compared to sex abuse.



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Rick

posted June 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm


In most states a slap is not considered abuse. In Illinois, it is not abuse unless it leaves a mark that does not disappear in one hour. There are still states, I think in the south, that still allow corporal punishment in public schools.



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Mary

posted June 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm


I’m fifty years old and attended Catholic school in the 60s and 70s. There was plenty of what many would define as verbal and emotinal abuse but I wonder if we listened to ourselves how much of it we do now? Anyway, I never saw or heard physical abuse and we had many nuns. There were always threats – mostly from the kids themselves – you don’t want Sister to see you – she’ll send you down to Sister so and so who will spank you, etc… Fastforward, colleagues I work with who went to public school who are my age and older report the same scenario and say they witnessed corporal punishment in their schools. Frankly, I am surprised it didn’t happen more often. Keeping 35 youngsters compliant for a school day is not an easy task.



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Conservative

posted June 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm


Forget the nuns. Didn’t anyone ever get a good spanking from their parents? It sometimes involved more than the back of a hand.



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pagansister

posted June 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm


Conservative, my parents never spanked us,3 girls, and we turned out just fine. No, we didn’t get everything we wanted in life and we were taught right from wrong etc. So this method was passed on to the way my 2 children were raised and they are fine adults. Hitting isn’t necessary…



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Conservative

posted June 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm


Thanks for your opinion, but I disagree. A spanking never hurt anyone. End of story. End of discussion.



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kenneth

posted June 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm


He should be filing his paperwork from a prison cell. He’s able to beat up middle school kids so I’m sure he could handle himself in the yard and shower….



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Eka

posted June 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm


On my first day of kindergarten in a NYC public school, in 1965, the principal took the class into his office (escorted by the teacher) to tell us about the “spanking machine”. It was behind a door and we never actually saw it…at least I never did…which made it even more terrifying! But we were threatened often. There was was some pretty sick stuff going on in those days in both public and parochial schools, but remarkably, it was all legal. Corporal punishment wasn’t abolished in NY until 1985 and in Germany in 1983. It is still permissible in private schools in some states.



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Aquamarine

posted June 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm


Adults hitting kids is always abusive and brutally animalistic, not to mention ignorant, selfish and lazy. Period, end of story, end of discussion.
There’s no excuse for hitting other than the adult is a coward who likes to hit weaker people. I’ve never met an adult who makes a habit of hitting kids who would have the courage to hit an adult their own size. Disgusting. Any adult who hits a kid ought to be hit in exactly the same manner by someone his or her own size, and in public for all to see.
As for this bishop — too bad. He quit, resignation accepted, the Church is supposedly over the worst of this recent series of revelations regarding horrific abuse of all sorts, and to turn this into some it’s-all-about-me nonsense would do the Church more harm than good.



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pagansister

posted June 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm


Yes, Conservative, end of opinion time. But it’s been fun…learning that hitting kids really doesn’t hurt them…it’s for their own good etc. Spare the rod, spoil the child mentality. And since you survived, it must be OK to spank kids, or allow teachers/nuns/priests to hit them too.
The Bishop should just stay “retired”. He had no right to hit kids, anymore than any other person in authority.



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Bill McG

posted June 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm


I’d say the devil is in the details. But if all this bishop did was mildly slap a few kids decades ago, while he may have been remiss it strikes me as ridiculous to say he should resign..



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Diane Korzeniewski

posted June 17, 2010 at 7:53 am


I just posted late last night, a translation of a canonical commentary by a German canonist incardinated in the Netherlands. Not only does Rev. Gero P. Weishaupt, J.C.D. give a good overview of the case, but he raises some important points – points that will probably be debated much amongst Canon lawyers.
http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2010/06/germany-canon-lawyer-discusses-bishop.html



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Conservative

posted June 17, 2010 at 8:21 am


Yes, pagan, a slap does not damage a kid for life like sexual abuse does. I never said nuns etc should hit kids. I think a parent has the right to spank, not beat, a child. Look at the kids beibng raised today. Are they better behaved than we were??????? To think a Bishop resigned because he smacked a kid 30 years ago is total nonsense.



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Mike L

posted June 17, 2010 at 10:25 am


I remember in high school, circa 1957, when a priest picked up a piano bench and through it across the room at a student, but it that was okay because he missed when the kid ducked. The problem with the idea that Conservative has is that his defense of violence is applied to more and more violent actions.
I also notice that a recent survey showed that children who were spanked show more violence in their behavior. Of course, those that believe that violence is acceptable will not believe such a study.



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Conservative

posted June 17, 2010 at 11:00 am


Right, I don’t believe that nonsense. I was spanked when I misbehaved and I am far from a violent person. Sweeping generalizations don’t work.
Picking up a piano bench is a bit more thank a whack on the backside.



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Lynn

posted June 17, 2010 at 11:00 am


While I know, and deeply respect, folks who brought their children to adulthood without ever striking them, I do think that physical discipline can have a place in the toolbox. It should be a tool of last resort, though. One idea that came to me later than I wish it had was that the seat of the pants can be ‘auxiliary ears’. When the upper ears won’t listen, sometimes I spoke to the lower ears. But the privilege to do so, and the circumstances under which such discipline should be acceptable, are tightly limited.
Don’t know quite what to make of the bishop trying to pull his resignation.



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Aquamarine

posted June 17, 2010 at 11:48 am


No, Lynn, hitting weak, powerless, voiceless little children never has a place in the “toolbox” (toolboxes are containers for devices used to maintain and repair inanimate objects, btw).
I have no respect for any adult who hits a child or who advocates hitting children, and using euphamisms for hitting just to make those who hit kids feel less like the monsters they are no longer works. Adults hitting kids who can’t fight back are cowards and animals, and are never anything else ever.
Kids who were hit tend to do more poorly in school, tend to be more violent, and tend to act out sexually at much younger ages than those who were not hit. There is zero excuse for hitting. Hitting is the “tool” of the lazy and the ignorant. If you’re too stupid to raise kids without hitting them and using fear and brutality to get them to do what you want when you want it done, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have children.
I can pick out the kids who are hit at home every time — they’re the kids who fly out of control the second their parents are out of sight. They’re the ones who hit the other kids, who grab and steal, and who turn into the worst playground bullies. They are liars. Hitting kids only teaches them not to get caught at any cost, therefore the one thing they get really, really good at is deceitfulness.
Adults who hit children are disgusting.



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Rick

posted June 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm


Cild development experts are not in agreement about how to interpret the research. Some experts say that in some contexts, with some children, spanking does not appear to have long term negative effects and that it can be effective if paired with other parenting techniques. I’m not saying spanking is okay–just that the clinical literature is not clear.
http://www.nospank.net/nytimes2.htm



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Aquamarine

posted June 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm


Why gamble with a child’s future, then, when it is stunningly clear it’s possible to raise children very well without hitting them? What does it say about an adult that they’d deliberately choose to hit when they don’t have to, and when there’s a possibility they’ll be doing serious psychological damage to the child?
Some of the biggest advocates of child hitting are Christians. Recently, a child was literally beaten to death as part of a well-known Christian child-rearing program (Michael and Debi Pearl’s To Train Up A Child). The parents took turns sitting on the child and beating her with plumbers’ line as instructed by the Pearls’ book until she, as Michael Pearl wrote, “had no breath to complain”. Her crime? Her big _sin_? Mispronouncing a word.
But, hey, hitting — no biggie, right?
Well, Lydia has no breath to complain now. She died of a condition called rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which body tissue is so severely and rapidly broken down, the by-products of the tissue breakdown enter the bloodstream and eventually destroy the kidneys. She was seven. Seven. She mispronounced a word, and was beaten _that_ severely by her oh-so-holy Christian parents who believed they were doing as God required by not sparing the rod — or, in this case, the plumbers’ line. Lydia’s sister was also hospitalized for life threatening injuries due to her beatings.
Betcha fifty bucks Lydia Schatz’s adoptive parents said things like “I was spanked when I was a kid and I turned out alright”.



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bob

posted July 31, 2010 at 2:30 pm


I was raised in a Catholic orphanage in Germany and I got my amount of ‘corporal’ punishment on occasions (usually well deserved). It wasn’t the ‘slapping’ administered by religious Sisters – they were admirable in their care for 80 of us girls and boys – it was one lay woman, who must have survived the 3rd Reich, that was a terror to us all. She was immediately fired when Mother Superior caught her in the act of physcially abusing yet another child. Raising my own children, I did not ‘spare the rod’, I applied it when necessary. Unlike many of my fellow parents, I had no problems taking them (or even now my grandkids – I recognize that the ‘rod-rule’ in their case rests soley with their parents — I just report serious infranctions, which, thankfully, are very few) out into the public square. They treat others with respect and compassion.



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