Hamburg's Protestant Bishop Kirsten Fehrs has rejected accusations that the process of coming to terms with sexualized violence in the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) is proceeding too slowly. One pursues a different beginning than the catholic church.
The Protestant Church is not lagging behind the Catholic Church, but has a different approach, said the spokeswoman of the EKD Council of Representatives for Protection against Sexualized Violence on Tuesday the portal suddeutsche.de.
"Due to our decentralized structure, we first wanted to standardize all our measures so that they would be binding – and so that each regional church would not have to go its own way," explained Fehrs. The shock that both churches experienced after the cases of abuse became known in 2010 initially caused the Protestant church to intensify prevention.
Rorig had criticized Protestant church
With regard to the criticism levelled at the EKD by the Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, Fehrs said: "No one has to drive us on."One was with Rorig in the discussion, but first had to continue the arance of quality standards. "It was very irritating for me to read that this was obviously not sufficient for Mr. Rorig; especially since we are close in terms of the matter at hand."
Rorig had warned that the EKD was too slow in coming to terms with sexual abuse within its own ranks. He urges in particular the establishment of independent Aufarbeitungskommissionen in the 20 regional churches. Rorig had signed a corresponding agreement with the Catholic Church in June.
A joint statement of the EKD with Rorig is currently being worked on, Fehrs explained. Certainly not each of the 20 national churches, some of which are very small, will be able to form its own commission. "So now we look at what makes sense given the already existing independent commissions and the prevention and intervention center."
Measures adopted in November 2018
In November 2018, the EKD synod had passed a package of measures to protect against sexualized violence. As a result, among other things, an interchurch guideline for the protection against violence was ied and a central contact point for victims was installed. In addition, the establishment of a victim advisory board and the start of a comprehensive reappraisal study are planned for this year.