Forgiveness but no comeback for Mixa: Pope

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Published Date: July 2, 2010

Pope Benedict has told resigned German Bishop Walter Mixa that he must take time for silent prayer, treatment and reconciliation if he wants to return to pastoral work but not as diocesan bishop.

The pope laid out the terms for Bishop Mixa’s rehabilitation during a private audience with the 69-year-old prelate, during which Mixa again apologized for his mistakes, Associated Press reports.

“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,” the Vatican Information Service said in a statement.

“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.”

Bishop Mixa said that he carried out his ministry conscientiously but “recognised that he had made mistakes and committed errors which led to a loss of trust and made his resignation inevitable,” the statement continued.

“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.”

Pope Benedict “expressed the hope that this request for forgiveness will find open ears and open hearts”.

The pope also called on German bishops to offer more friendship to Bishop Mixa

“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 statement concluded.

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