The question is what is at present actually still convincing with the churches.

On Friday Maria Jepsen gave up her office as bishop of the North Elbe Church - Comment on 2010 July 17

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2010 July 17
And as on the Catholic side the figures with personal magnetism have either also stepped down like Bishop Mixa or are losing credibility like arch bishops Zollitsch and Marx, it is to be questioned what actually still has a convincing effect in the churches. The leading figures certainly rather not. It should be the message. But who wants to hear it when its announcers lay themselves open to suspicion? Read more:

A leading American daily today carried the following news item: Germany: First Female Elected Lutheran Bishop Quits in Handling of Abuse Complaint.

I now bring news which I found today, Saturday, the 17th of July 2010:

The first woman ever elected as a Lutheran bishop said on Friday that she had resigned from her post in northern Germany amid accusations that she failed to thoroughly investigate reports of a sexually abusive pastor. In a statement, Bishop Maria Jepsen, 65, said that questions about her credibility had led her to feel that she was no longer able “to spread the good word, as I vowed to do at my ordination.” She was elected bishop of the Lutheran church in northern Germany in 1992, the first woman worldwide to hold the post. She insisted that she could not recall being told of the abuse by a priest in the northern town of Ahrensburg. Hundreds of people claiming sexual and physical abuse of children by Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy have come forward in Germany since January.

Female bishop steps down. Jepsen and the abuse.

Jepsen’s stepping down: Also the Protestants got stuck in the crisis. The stepping down of Hamburg bishop Maria Jepsen shows that the subject sexual abuse in church is not a Catholic one and also all is not well with the Protestants. The question is what is at present actually still convincing with the churches.

In the scandal about sexual abuse for the first time a high ranking representative of the evangelical church has stepped down: On Friday Maria Jepsen gave up her office as bishop of the North Elbe Church.

Bishop Maria Jepsen has stepped down. The reason is an abuse case which she is not to have firmly pursued.

Decades of covering-up of sexual abuse of minors through clergymen now also has cost a high ranking dignitary in the Protestant church in Germany her office.

One thing should be clear: The subject abuse cannot be sorted according to “Catholic” and “Protestant”, also not according to “conservative” and “liberal.” No, arch conservative Catholics exactly like the arch liberal Protestant Maria Jepsen must allow themselves to be accused to either have not followed up evidence to sexual abuse or been too negligent and condoned structures in which encroachments were hidden and so actually made possible.

Also the Protestants lacked exactly the unreserved clearing up which was missed in the past months in the Catholic church, as well as also lately uncovered cases from other regional churches have shown.

Therefore the Protestants have to ask themselves whether they have not made themselves at home too much in the shade of the Catholic scandals.

So one does not have to ask for denominations or politics but for protective areas for culprits as well as for structures of disregard of victims.

Insofar the case Jepsen can make it possible, above the dismantling of evangelical self righteousness, to finally question the actual cause and enabling of abuse.

And as on the Catholic side the figures with personal magnetism have either also stepped down like Bishop Mixa or are losing credibility like arch bishops Zollitsch and Marx, it is to be questioned what actually still has a convincing effect in the churches. The leading figures certainly rather not. It should be the message. But who wants to hear it when its announcers lay themselves open to suspicion?

 

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