Eric Willemsen, AP via the Washington Post:
VIENNA — A pastor who created a controversy by suggesting that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina because of the city’s sins said Sunday he will ask the pope to rescind his promotion.
Pope Benedict XVI’s recent appointment of the conservative Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, to auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria’s third largest city, sparked an outcry among Catholics who warned it could prompt people to leave the church.
Wagner, among other things, also had characterized Harry Potter novels as "Satanism."
"Regarding the fierce criticism, I am in prayer and, after consulting the diocesan bishop, I have decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome to take back my promotion as auxiliary bishop," Wagner said in a statement released by Linz Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz.