BERLIN – BERLIN (AP) — A German bishop is offering his resignation after a flap over allegations of physical abuse and financial misconduct, his hometown newspaper reported Wednesday.
Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday evening offering to resign as bishop and as Germany's Roman Catholic military chaplain, the daily Augsburger Allgemeine reported, without citing sources.
He wrote that the "continuing public discussion" about him had "seriously burdened priests and the faithful," according to the report. Diocese officials could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday night.
Mixa has been accused of hitting children decades ago when he was a priest. He initially denied ever using violence against youngsters but later acknowledged he may have slapped children.
On Tuesday, he offered an apology. "I am pained in my heart and sorry for causing many people grief," Mixa said in a statement without specifying what he meant.
Adding to Mixa's troubles, a special investigator has said there were financial irregularities at a children's home under Mixa's responsibility.
The case does not involve any allegations of sexual abuse.
Earlier Wednesday, the head of the national bishops' conference urged Mixa to take leave until the allegations are cleared up, German media reported.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch said he had several phone conversations with Mixa in recent days to discuss "how to contribute to calming down the current difficult situation in the Augsburg diocese," according to the DDP news agency.