Pope's ally facing paedophilia claims

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London, May 8 (ANI): A close friend of Pope Benedict XVI who has already offered to resign after confessing that he hit children in his care is now facing a probe over allegations of sex abuse.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Augsburg said that they had opened a preliminary probe into Walter Mixa after media reports said he had been accused of sexually abusing a boy while bishop of Eichstaett between 1996 and 2005.

For weeks, the 69-year-old bishop rebuffed allegations that he beat children at a Roman Catholic orphanage in the 1970s and 1980s.

But, after several sworn statements from his accusers came to the fore, the bishop from the Pope's native Bavaria admitted that he "may have" slapped the children while a priest.

On April 21 he tendered his resignation after admitting giving youngsters in his care "a slap in the face or two", which he said was "completely normal back then," reports the Telegraph.he Augsburger Allgemeine daily cited a lawyer for Bishop Mixa, long known as a hardliner who in February blamed sexual abuse of children by priests in part on "the so-called sexual revolution", as rejecting the latest accusations.

The pope has not yet responded to Bishop Mixa's offer to quit. (ANI)

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