“For us, a deep pain”

Sacristy in Taize © Jean-Matthieu Gautier (KNA)

After allegations of abuse, a brother of the ecumenical community of Taize will leave the village. The prior Brother Alois asked him to do this. Several allegations have disclosed sexual assaults against minors.

As the community announced on its website, the prior, Frere Alois, has asked him to. He will live outside Taize in the future. Because of his advanced age, however, a brother lives with him, and others accompany him "in this stage of his life".

Frere Alois says: "I am aware of how much we brothers owe him. This is a deep pain for us." He hopes, however, that this decision "will help us – and also him – to continue on this path of truth".

In June 2019, the community had disclosed several allegations of sexual assault against minors. Since then, there have been other credible statements against the brother in question. The statements had been forwarded to the investigating authorities.

Abuse in the 50s to 80s

In 2019, it was said that three members had sexually abused teenagers decades ago. According to the report, five of those affected had contacted the community based in Burgundy, France. One or two cases of sexualized violence against minors from the 1950s to the 1980s are involved in each case, he said. There was no evidence of rape, a spokesman said at the time. Two of the accused men have reportedly been dead for at least 15 years, while the third has so far continued to live in Taize.

Since the 1970s, thousands of young people from France, Germany and all over Europe have come to Taize every year. Most recently, there have been about 70 annually.000. Many participate in the community's spiritual program for several days or weeks. In addition to prayers and church services, the focus is on exchanges about religious ies.

The community, founded in 1944 by Brother Roger Schutz, currently has about 100 men from 25 states. Three quarters live in Taize, one quarter in various small settlements in Asia, Africa and South America. Since 2005, the leader of the ecumenical community has been Brother Alois Loser (65), a native of Stuttgart.

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