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Bishop sex allegations

May 7, 2010

German police are investigating sexual abuse allegations against controversial Catholic bishop Walter Mixa. The cleric offered his resignation last month over allegations that he hit children before becoming bishop.

Bishop Walter Mixa.
Mixa is on leave following the beating allegationsImage: apn

Prosecutors in the Bavarian city of Augsburg on Friday said that they had opened a preliminary probe into sexual abuse allegations against German Bishop Walter Mixa.

The 68-year-old has been accused of sexually abusing a boy while he was bishop of Eichstaett between 1996 and 2005.

Catholic officials are reported to have called police over claims that Mixa breached rules on sexual contact with minors.

The German daily newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine quoted a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Eichstaett saying, "The diocese has passed on information and made a complaint to the appropriate."

Latest allegations denied

The church had initiated the inquiry over a sexual matter, according to the newspaper, which Mixa denied.

"My client utterly denies the allegations being made against him and will cooperate with prosecutors to the utmost to bring this case to a clear close," said Mixa's lawyer, Gerhard Decker.

Mixa is on leave while the Vatican decides on whether to accept the resignation that he offered last month, following claims that he beat children at a Roman Catholic orphanage in the 1970s and 1980s.

He at first rebuffed the beating allegations, despite several sworn statements from his accusers.

However, in late April Mixa tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI admitting that he had given youngsters "a slap or two."

Editor: Rob Turner

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