After the temporary end of the advisory board for those affected by sexualized violence in the Protestant church, the Bishop of Braunschweig, Christoph Meyns, is counting on a new start in the fall.
The entire system must now be put to the test, the bishop told Deutschlandfunk radio on Wednesday. But the will to involve those affected is unbroken, he says. "We are not discouraged now by this failure in the first attempt," Meyns stressed.
The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) had announced on Monday evening the temporary end of the affected persons advisory board. The conception had failed, it was said. According to the report, the reason for this is the resignation of members of the committee, internal conflicts and dissent between the advisory council and the counterpart on the EKD side, the council of commissioners, about the further procedure.
Spokesman of the Council of Commissioners is Bishop Meyns of Braunschweig. There had been massive conflicts regarding the role of the advisory board and the question of how constructively and how critically the advisory board should work, Meyns said on Deutschlandfunk radio.
A "deep chasm" had emerged, and the deliberations on coming to terms with it had proved unsustainable. However, the decision was made not to dissolve the church. Over the summer, the EKD will evaluate its failures and then jointly consider: "How can we make a fresh start??"
"We wish for critical voices"
The same composition is still conceivable, Meyns emphasized. "We wish for the critical voices," he said. "So it is not at all the case that we are now saying that we do not want those who are now also publicly critical of us to be part of it."
Several of the twelve members of the Council of Concerned at the time of its founding in September had left, and four still active members accused the church on Tuesday of trying to "evade the criticism of those affected by its inadequate processes of coming to terms with the past" by unilaterally suspending the participation of those concerned.