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MAY 7, 2010 8:51PM

Scandal without end: Bishop Walter Mixa inherits the wind

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  Walter Mixa

GERMAN BISHOP WALTER MIXA probably hoped his worries were at an end when he finally submitted his resignation to the Pope on April 21 of this year. In fact, they’re only just beginning. The reactionary and egregiously controversial bishop of Augsburg, who quit under fire for alleged beatings and financial malfeasance at a juvenile center in the Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, had already generated lurid headlines earlier this year when he blamed the Catholic Church’s spiraling pedophile scandal on “the so-called sexual revolution.” But it seems that this alleged revolution of personal morality also took a toll on Mixa himself, because as of today the public prosecutor in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt is formally investigating Mixa for the sexual exploitation of an underage altar boy. And this time the paper trail leads all the way back to Pope Benedict XVI. (I have already written about Mixa in depth here and here.)

The new charges against Mixa, who also served as Germany’s “military bishop,” i.e. chief Catholic army chaplain, until his recent resignation, do not date back to his notorious period as a child-beating parish priest in Schrobenhausen (1975-96), but rather to his seemingly happier years as Bishop of Eichstätt (1996-2005). It seems odd that Mixa would have committed such a seedy offence in that sleepy Bavarian town, since the ambitious cleric regarded Eichstätt as a mere stepping stone to his true goal: the coveted position of Archbishop of Munich, which none other than Pope Benedict himself held from 1977 to 1982.

Augsburg was clearly second choice for the Silesian-born Mixa, although his extremely visible and influential position as military bishop during Germany’s military involvement in Afghanistan must have represented an important compensation. He certainly behaved as if he were Archbishop of Munich, or of the world for that matter, when he made such controversial statements as his claim in 2009 that, as bad as Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was, it paled by comparison to Germany’s post-1945 abortion statistics (nine million fetuses). Yes, Mixa was riding very high before his fall. Perhaps that is why the notion that he may have sodomized small boys under his supervision is too bizarre for most Bavarians to swallow. Helmut Mangold, the chairman of the Augsburg Diocese Council, said that he was shocked by the charges. “You could imagine Mixa passing out ‘smacks’ [to the juveniles in Schrobenhausen]. But this – I simply never could have imagined it.”

It looks as if the district attorney in Ingolstadt is about to open up a very full, and extremely wiggly, can of worms. The viciously homophobic Mixa (Europe’s answer to Ted Haggard) already had a reputation for homoerotic proclivities during his time as bishop of Eichstädt. In 2002 one of the local seminary directors wrote that – at the very least – the power-hungry Mixa sought “allies among seminary students dependent on him,” who regularly informed him of events that occurred at the institution. In addition, Monsignor Mixa - who supposedly goes by the nickname Monsi in the scene - developed an “irrational solidarity with candidates” that “was not compatible with Church law.” In other words, he maintained close relations with openly gay and far-right students and helped promote candidates who had failed elsewhere to the priesthood.

So far, the 69-year-old Mixa – who is currently undergoing psychiatric treatment at a clinic in Switzerland – has denied the pedophile charges, saying that he wishes to contribute to a “complete investigation.” These protests are unlikely to convince many, however, since Mixa initially lied about the earlier charges lodged against him as well.

The Mixa case represents just another feather plucked from Pope Benedict’s cap: the appointment of the violent and allegedly pedophile Mixa as Bishop of Augsburg was Joseph Ratzinger's first major decision following his election as Pope in 2005 – the first of many such short-sighted and devastating choices on the part of “God’s representative on earth.”

Pope Benedict XVI



MONDAY UPDATES: Pope Benedict formally accepted Mixa's resignation as Bishop of Augsburg and Military Bishop on Saturday, just two and a half weeks after it was submitted, which is close to a record for decisions of this kind. The Pontif had apparently had been aware of the sex abuse charges since April at the latest. Mixa's lawyer denies all wrong-doing in the case. 

As always in situations when hard facts are less than forthcoming (and the Church's information policy is looking more and more like that of the old communist parties), the rumor mill is churning full speed. The latest story to hit the blogs in Bavaria is that the Church itself has been spreading (false) pedophilia stories in order to shove Mixa out the door as quickly as possible. All that is certain is that a 26-year-old man called Marco Schneider, who was "outed" by a Catholic website over the weekend as Mixa's "victim," vehemently denies everything and has pledged complete loyalty to Mixa. Whether Schneider is actually the person involved in the alleged pedophilia case remains unknown.

On Monday, diocese administrator Josef Grünwald of Augsburg promised that the church would practise "self-criticism" and seek "self-knowledge" as it looked for a new bishop. Over the weekend, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg told the newsweekly Der Spiegel that "I would be in favor of giving serious thought" to abolishing clerical celibacy. In the meantime, Catholics in the diocese of Augsburg have been abandoning the Church by the thousands in recent months, with up to 180 formally resigning their membership with each passing day.

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It seems to be the season for unveiling sexual hypocrites of high ecclesiastical influence. I'm sure you're aware of Dr. George Alan Rekers and his gaycation with a 20 year old male sex worker.

I hope that the prosecutor of Inglostadt has a solid case. This guy deserves to be nailed along with the rest of the RC for centuries of child abuse.
this is so revolting
no excuse
no way
Pope Richard M. Nixon?
I've long had a theory that the existence of monastic societies in many cultures can partly be explained by them providing an outlet for gay people. In a society where homosexuality is considered anathema and where adults are expected to get married, institutions like the Catholic Church could have represented a "safe haven" for many gays. If I'm right, gays should make up a larger part of the clergy than they do in the average population. Pedofiles might conceivably also be attracted to an institution that shielded them from society's expectations that they have relations with grown women.

I think my theory looks pretty good, so far.
I certainly agree.

That sums it up perfectly

@Old New
That's correct as far as scandal is concerned. I suspect we're going to here a lot more about Benedict soon, and it wouldn't surprise me if some personal details are involved. People are now much more ready to come forward with information.

I've long suspected the same, since the priesthood and the monastic life are spaces where one can entirely avoid the standard expectations of heterosexual relationships, marriage, family etc. It stands to reason that the Church by its very nature attracts individuals who set no store in such things, and this will naturally include asexuals, gay people and, tragically, pedophiles.
Disgusting. If this didn't involve children, I would say what I am going to be saying about a great many things going on right now: this argument is like going to a museum to view the medieval tapestries.

But, it does involve children. And it is disgusting. xox
Robin's right. And regardless of our individual religious commitments (or none), these kids are ours, all of ours, bc what they themselves do affects our world, all of our lives. These kids and what they do are noy cloistered.
" . . . the public prosecutor in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt is formally accusing Mixa of sexually exploiting an underage altar boy."

All the other articles that I've seen say only that prosecutors were looking into the allegation in what is typically called a "preliminary investigation."

Not mentioned in your post is the fact that the Catholic church itself reported the allegation to the prosecutor: "The Augsburg diocese said it had provided information to prosecutors after a meticulous examination of the accusations.

"The Augsburg diocese has transmitted details to the appropriate authorities according to the guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference," the diocese said in a statement."

"Diocese officials in Augsburg said the diocese had passed on a complaint to prosecutors in the nearby city of Ingolstadt "in accordance with German Bishops' Conference guidelines." Bavarian bishops recently pledged in the wake of the abuse scandal to hand off to prosecutors every allegation they receive before conducting their own investigation."

Alan: "Perhaps that is why the notion that he may have sodomized small boys under his supervision is too bizarre for most Bavarians to swallow."

How is it that in your post we move from a single non-specific allegation about one minor to "may have sodomized small boys"? One could say that he "may have" done anything, though at this point I have seen absolutely no evidence that he sodomized small boys. I suppose you could also say that Mixa "may have" been the second shooter on the grassy knoll in the Kennedy assassination, if you want to list other possibilities for which there is no evidence.

At this point it's not clear what happened: "The details of the accusation remain unclear. A spokesman for the Eichstatt diocese, which learned of the accusation Monday from diocese officials in Augsburg, said only that it involved sexual abuse of a minor and that it hadn't come directly from the alleged victim, but someone who knew him."

" . . . the first of many such short-sighted and devastating choices on the part of “God’s representative on earth.”

Yes, perhaps no one told the pope about the papal crystal ball that would allow him to detect accusations even before they are made.

I know that folks on Open Salon like to stick it to the Catholics. But it seems to me that posts such as this are written in order to put the church in the worst light.
Mixa is indeed being accused, but not indicted yet by a long shot, and so I changed the misunderstandable "being accused" with "formally investigating" above. Regarding the Pope's crystal ball, I pointed out in my article that he has made many poor personnel decisions, particularly his rehabiliation of the anti-Semitic breakaway Bishop Williamson. As in the Williamson case, his favoritism towards the divisive and abusive Mixa has proven extremely embarrassing to the Church as a whole. (The myriad accusations against Mixa go back to his time in Schrobenhausen and Eichstätt.) And regarding the Grassy Knoll, I also doubt he was there, but considering all the revelations about Mixa that have appeared in recent weeks, it wouldn't surprise many people in Augsburg...

Is Open Salon sticking it to the Catholic Church? I think it's sticking it to itself. Once again, the truth, as it dribbles out, is stranger (and more appalling) than any fiction could be.
Alan writes: "Is Open Salon sticking it to the Catholic Church? I think it's sticking it to itself. Once again, the truth, as it dribbles out, is stranger (and more appalling) than any fiction could be."

I have to agree with you that when it comes to the sex scandals and some other things that truth has often been stranger than fiction.

That said, I think it's important to stay with the facts and be clear about the facts. I have seen many posts on OS where speculation turns into allegation, and then allegation turns into "fact" in the minds of many.

And I think it's important to report all the facts. In this case I think it is very significant that the church reported the allegation to the authorities. That wouldn't have happened in the past, and I think you would agree that this shows that there has been some real change in how the church handles these cases. Perhaps they aren't yet where they should be, but I think they are moving in the right direction. But I would have liked to see them move more willingly in the right direction, rather than having been dragged kicking and screaming in the right direction.

The church needs to change the culture of the organization, but cultural change in any large organization is difficult to achieve, and there will be many missteps and false starts along the way. Nonetheless, it's important to acknowledge the positive steps that are being taken, while understanding that those steps are not yet enough.
The Church needs to be shut down.
Gosh, but that picture of the pope looks is a dead ringer for the evil emperor in Star Wars. Was his name Palpatine?
I'm thrilled to witness the death of the R.C. Church in my life time!! Hallelujah!! Women were made into blame targets by the Catholic Church and Islam, and such evil continues today. After all, no matter that three women are murdered a day in the USA by their husbands, ex-husbands, boy friends, and ex-boy friends, or that women are victimized by rapists and sexual perverts, by violence and serial killers on a daily basis worldwide. Oh, no! Women are so much worse according to the RC Church, because they're "whores who have abortions"!!

As Bishop Mixa said, even the killing of Jews during WW II pales in comparison to abortion statistics!! And you know what really kills me? The grave stones in Catholic church yards that symbolize the loss of the unborn through abortion. Yeah, that's right! The RC Church has the audacity to "mourn" the loss of the non-existent, while raping, molesting, and abusing living, breathing children.

The contempt I feel, the overwhelming disgust for men who destroy children's psyches and damag them permanently is beyond words!!! And we all know very well that the Pope is a liar and at the heart of this scandal for many decades. And since he was John Paul's right hand man, we can assume that John Paul knew all about this, too. I had thought that John Paul seemed to be something of a true Christian, but now we know better. The RC Church is a rotten, stinking mass of lying maggots! Period!
initially one might think that god is not well represented by the pope. but a quick survey of history and current affairs, all 'god's work,' will change your mind.

humans must learn to demand that society's officers must work in the light, must have no power over others that does not come from a limited mandate of the people, and that no one is above the law.

i regret to report that progress is slow.
@al lewis, well put.

@Norwonk, I don't think it's your intent to feed the dangerous misconception that pedophiles are gay, or vice versa, but I'm not sure what your point is.

No doubt monastic life has historically been a safe haven for all sorts of misfits and outcasts. It's also true that secret pacts, sacrifice, and occult ritual have been a part of priesthoods for just as long.

Sex abuse is not an expression of erotic desire. It's about power and control. Maybe these incidents are statistically skewed pathological blips, maybe they're not. Either way, it's high time for some true moral accountability. Those in power must learn to serve the common good.
alan, would you please go through your comments, every 4 hrs should do it, and weed out the spam? or you could sub-contract it to me, i have been working for halliburton and the department of defense until a recent and unfortunate misunderstanding, and am very good with black-out pen.
Like O.J. Simpson's having gotten away with murdering his ex-wife and Ron Goldman (bloody Bruno Magli shoe prints) only to be sent to prison for nine years for something else, the Roman Catholic Church has gotten away with the Holocaust and Hitler, and G-d willing, will now be taken down by its transparently obvious, institutionalized pedophilia...and any who tries to "disconnect" pedophilia from homosexuality is merely incriminating himself. Benedict's speech is fully gay, Balducci was procuring homosexual prostitutes for him because there is too much risk in the Vatican proper to get him younger boys, although they had no problem getting away with the assassination of John Paul I for his attempt to rid the Vatican Bank of the Mafia (Viz. "In God's Name," Yallop).

The foundational core of Rome's present priesthood is the "cult of male prostitutes" ejected (not exterminated) from Jerusalem by King Jehosophat. It resettled on Vatican Hill and allied itself with Latin and Etruscan tyrants and assassins to perfect the political economy of slavery embodied by it symbol, The Fasces, and its motto, "Urbis et Orbis" - City and World. Multiple papal bulls attest to Rome's belief that it "owns the world."

America's whig Founder recognized that Rome is "the real Anti-Christ," called "Amalek" by aware Jews.

The "Wall Street of slavery" for over 2,000 years with the same families sitting on the same hills in the same castles for even longer, Europe has long been victimized by the false elite now besetting America with the Roman Catholics, taking us over after the Civil War, now with a plurality in Congress and a majority on the Supreme Court which, in addition to the more recent, pro-fascist 'Citizens United,' appointed Hitler's banker's, dry drunk, draft-dodging closet-queen grandson to our presidency to commit 9/11 (Viz. "The New Pearl Harbor," Griffin, Ph.D.).

The Roman Catholic Church and two popes are "morally, legally, and ethically culpable of the Holocaust:" Germany was Rome's catspaw during the period just as America was after Rome's "Fifth Column," led by future presidents Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush, assassinated President Kennedy six weeks after he ordered our military withdrawal from the papal fiefdom of Vietnam.

Thank you for this excellent report from Berlin. With descent, in part, from Saxony, I look forward to the day when all Germans have read the divine scholarship found in "A Moral Reckoning," by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, to free themselves of Holocaust guilt: to let those who specifically should be left "holding the bag," do so - the Roman Anti-Christ and its "Black Aristocracy." Rated
I want to thank you for your excellent reporting on this issue.
You have been more than fair and accurate, from my point of view: but then again, I am a bit prejudiced.
For I was molested by a priest when I was a child.
Oddly enough, I have a close friend who is Belgian, and suffered the same trauma. He has been predicting for years that the European situation would come to the surface, and is delighting in the watching the Pope get exposed for the corrupt and amoral fraud he is.
Keep up the good work.