By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tIn my “All Things Catholic” column on Friday, I offered a rundown of stories over the last week which shook the Vatican. One item I left off that list, but which deserves to be recorded, was Pope Benedict XVI’s July 1 meeting with German Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg, whose resignation was accepted on May 8.
tMixa resigned amid allegations of physical abuse against children and financial improprieties.
tSenior Vatican sources told me this week that the statement issued after the meeting was almost unique in that, even though it was released by the Vatican Press Office, it was more or less directly written by the pope himself. In effect, the Mixa affair offers a glimpse of Benedict struggling to keep his bishops on the same page in a time of crisis, rather than playing the blame game by pointing fingers at one another.