Bishops accused of failing to act against accused child molesters have resigned their posts in Belgium, Ireland, and Germany, and the Vatican has moved to take over a financially powerful Legion of Christ, which was founded by Maciel, who passed away in 2008. On May 9, Benedict accepted the resignation of conservative German Bishop Walter Mixa, who was appointed to his post in one of Benedict's earliest actions on becoming pope. Mixa admitted to slapping children and is also under investigation for sexual and financial misconduct.
Nowhere has the effort to redress the sins of the past been greater than in Ireland. On May 6, the Vatican accepted the resignation of Irish Bishop Joseph Duffy, who said he was aware of abuse accusations against a priest but did not inform the police. Three other Irish bishops, named in government reports about mishandled abuse claims, have had their resignations accepted.
Pat Buckley, an Irish bishop considered a renegade, says the pace of change is still too slow. "The church still hasn't accepted the resignations of some of the bishops. As the politician Alan Dukes recently said, perhaps the way forward is for everyone to resign and the church to then reorganize," he said.
The Catholic Communications Office in Ireland told the Monitor that resignation is a personal decision. The scandals, which date to exposure of priests' sexual abuse in 1994, were reignited by two government reports last year.