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Resigned German bishop meets with pope

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Bishop Walter Mixa, the German bishop who resigned amid accusations of physical abuse, sexual harassment and alcoholism met with Pope Benedict XVI this morning.

The Associated Press reported that Benedict laid out the terms for Mixa's rehabilitation and that Mixa, 69, again apologized for his mistakes.

This is the report from the Vatican Information Service:

COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING POPE'S AUDIENCE WITH BISHOP MIXA

VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 ( VIS ) - The Holy See Press Office published the following communique at midday today:

"On 1 July the Holy Father received in audience Bishop Walter Mixa, emeritus of Augsburg , Germany . On 4 May the Pope had accepted the bishop's request to be relieved of his duties as pastor of the diocese of Augsburg and as military ordinary, a decision definitively confirmed during today's audience. Bishop Mixa will retire for a time of silence, meditation and prayer and, following a period of cure and reconciliation will, like other bishops emeritus, be available for pastoral duties, with the agreement of his successor.

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"Bishop Mixa highlighted how he had always sought to carry out his episcopal ministry willingly and conscientiously but, with all sincerity, he also recognised that he had made mistakes and committed errors which led to a loss of trust and made his resignation inevitable. He once again requested forgiveness for all his mistakes but also, and rightly, asks that despite those mistakes, all the good he has done not be forgotten.

"The Holy Father expressed the hope that this request for forgiveness will find open ears and open hearts. Following a period of often excessive polemics, the Pope hopes for reconciliation, for a new and reciprocal acceptance in the spirit of mercy of the Lord and in faithful abandonment to His guidance. Above all, the Supreme Pontiff asks his confreres in the episcopal ministry to offer Bishop Mixa, more than in the past, their friendship and closeness, their understanding, and their help to find the right path.

"The Pope asks all the dear faithful of the diocese of Augsburg again to favour mutual communion and to welcome with open hearts the prelate he will appoint as Bishop Mixa's successor. In a time of contrasts and insecurity, the world expects Christians to show harmonious witness on the basis of their encounter with the risen Lord, with which they help one another and the whole of society to find the right path to the future".

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