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German bishop offers to quit over child abuse claims

world Updated: Apr 22, 2010 14:58 IST

Reuters
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A German Roman Catholic bishop facing allegations he physically abused children has offered to resign, his diocese said on Thursday.

Bishop Walter Mixa, who also faces allegations of financial misconduct, wrote to Pope Benedict offering his resignation, according to the Augsburg diocese in the predominantly Catholic state of Bavaria, which is the pope's home state.

"With his resignation, he wants to avert further damage to the Church and to allow a new start," the diocese said in a statement.

Mixa denied for weeks that he had hit children decades ago before later admitting he had slapped them. Some victims say he hit them with full force in the face.

Family Minister Kristina Schroeder welcomed Mixa's resignation offer, telling ZDF television she respected his decision.