Margot Kässmann Resigned as the Head of the EKD Due to a Drink Driving Arrest
Bishop Margot Kässmann (1958- )
Bishop Margot Kässmann, the head of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) submitted her resignation. Last Saturday, police arrested her in the centre of Hanover for going through a red light. Frau Kässmann admitted that she was driving a car while intoxicated. However, according to police, she “wasn’t in control of her automobile”. “I made a big mistake. My heart tells me that I can’t remain in office. Therefore, I resigned and relinquished my duties in the Church”, Frau Kässmann said, according to the BBC.
A divorced 51-year-old mother of four daughters, Bishop Kässmann was elected the head of the EKD, comprising more than 20 Lutheran and Reformed Churches, at their Synod on 28 October. In response to this decision, sources in the MP said that they were not going to resume the old format of the dialogue with the EKD, but are open to a discussion on their outstanding differences.
In a letter of 10 December 2009 to Rev Martin Schindehütte, his opposite number in the EKD, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk wrote, “Despite the fact that we had not previously acknowledged the existence of the priesthood in Protestant communities, and, therefore, did not recognise them as ‘churches’ in this sense, we engaged in dialogue with some of them using the concept of ‘a church [talking] with The Church’. However, now, the situation has changed, and a woman is the head of the EKD. This raises fundamental questions about the possibility of continuing the dialogue using this specific concept”.
25 February 2010
Catholics Regret the Resignation of the Head of the EKD
The Chairman of the German Episcopal Conference (Roman Catholic), Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau, regretted the resignation of the head of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Margot Kässmann, according to a statement released on Wednesday by the press service of the Episcopal Conference. “I’ve known Frau Kässmann for a long time, she’s a person who is willing to take responsibility for her actions, so I respect her decision, and I can understand why she did this”, Archbishop Zollitsch said. He added that his recent cooperation with her as the head of the Council of the EKD was constructive.
Last weekend, police arrested Frau Kässmann for driving while intoxicated, and, on Wednesday, she announced her resignation, despite the fact that all 14 members of the Council of the EKD unanimously decided to support her. Police stopped her on Saturday night in Hanover (Lower Saxony) because she drove through a red light. The police stopped her and asked to take a sobriety test. After the test, Frau Kässmann went to the police station, where she underwent a blood test, which showed that at the time of her arrest her blood alcohol level was 1.54 ppm.
In October 2009, Bishop Kässmann was elected the head of the Council of the EKD, which encompasses nearly 25 million Protestants. She was the first woman in the history of German Protestantism to be elected to this high office. She is divorced and has four daughters.
Previously, she commented on the incident, calling her actions “a terrible mistake”. According to her own statement, Bishop Kässmann is shocked by her behaviour and said that she made a terrible blunder. She said that she knows how dangerous and irresponsible drink driving is, and is aware of the legal consequences of what happened.
24 February 2010
I looked at Patriarhia.ru, and there has been no official announcements as of 23.00 EST (07.00 26 February MSK) regarding this situation. Br’er Kirill… he lay low… as he should, after all. Shall it change the objective situation? Perhaps not…
There has been much activity on the term “Kässmann” on my site. Well… the above is what is being reported in Russia on the affair. In any case, His Nibs is tied up with the installation of President Yanukovich in the Ukraine, and all the usual cast of suspects are with him. In short, this isn’t a big story in Moscow. That’s all folks…