Annette Kurschus says she is stepping down ‘to prevent damage to my church’.
The head of the Protestant Church in Germany has resigned amid accusations she turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual assault at a church she pastored within the Nineteen Nineties.
Annette Kurschus, a senior theologian who led Germany’s largest Protestant federation, mentioned on Monday that she had no data of the alleged abuse on the time however would step all the way down to “prevent damage to my church”.
“At every moment, I acted to the best of my knowledge and my conscience,” Kurschus mentioned at a press convention asserting her resignation. “But public trust in my person has been damaged.”
The 60-year-old theologian has been dogged by media studies that she was knowledgeable “in detail” of allegations of sexual abuse in opposition to a church colleague within the Nineteen Nineties and took no motion.
The colleague — who served as a vicar within the church district of Siegen, the place Kurschus labored — is now being investigated by police.
Kurschus mentioned she had been conscious of the person’s “homosexuality and unfaithfulness in marriage” on the time however heard allegations of sexual abuse solely this 12 months.
“I have never – and I stress this – never sought to shirk my responsibility, withhold important facts, cover up facts or even cover up for an accused person,” she mentioned.
Anna-Nicole Heinrich, who heads the Protestant Church’s synod, mentioned Kurschus’s resignation “shows the importance placed by the church on firm action on the issue of sexual violence”.
History of abuse
While the Catholic Church has for years been rocked by sexual assault allegations in opposition to clergy, German Protestant establishments, which symbolize 19 million folks, have confronted little scrutiny.
A research commissioned by the German Bishops’ Conference in 2018 concluded that 1,670 Catholic clergymen within the nation had dedicated some type of sexual assaults in opposition to 3,677 minors from 1946 to 2014.
The actual variety of victims is regarded as a lot increased.
An 800-page report on simply the Cologne diocese, launched in 2021, discovered 202 alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and 314 victims from 1975 to 2018. More than half of the victims had been below 14.
The Catholic Church’s payouts for victims of abuse in Germany had been elevated in 2020 to as much as 50,000 euros ($54,600), from about 5,000 euros ($5,460) beforehand, however campaigners say the sum continues to be insufficient.
Last 12 months alone, about 28 million euros ($30m) in funds had been accredited.