Resignation of Annette Kurschus: Faith is missing

Resignation of Annette Kurschus: Faith is missing

The chairwoman of the council of the Evangelical Church wanted to tackle the abuse herself. Now she falls over this topic.

Annette Kurschus has resigned as EKD boss Photo: Harald Oppitz/KNA

It’s a cross: Annette Kurschus was chairwoman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) for just two years. She has now resigned with immediate effect – not only from this office, but also as President of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia. The trigger for this step is the accusation of having covered up a suspected case of sexual violence.

It is extremely pointless to speculate about what Kurschus knew and when, whether she even became aware of this matter and, if so, whether she would have committed a sin of omission as a result.

The question is rather whether she could have made a different decision in this situation. The answer is: Hardly. On the one hand, her credibility has already been massively damaged – a heavy burden for the highest representative of the EKD, which massively limits her scope for action.

On the other hand, she made dealing with “abuse” a matter for the boss. Anyone who formulates such high moral standards must also be measured by them – an insight that many politicians have long since lost, if ever there was one.

Nevertheless, Kurschus’s departure, which amounts to a small earthquake, is not without a certain tragedy. Finally, for many Lutherans, their election was also associated with hopes for reforms in the EKD, which should be heard as an important and serious voice in these times marked by crises and wars.

It goes to the foundations of the church

It is impossible to predict what impact recent events will have. The fact is, however, that the EKD (as well as the Catholic Church) is losing more and more members. There are obviously too many construction sites – the issue of “abuse” is just one of them, albeit a highly sensitive one.

It goes to the foundations of the church as an institution – for a long time. Kurschus’ resignation statement states that there have been successes in dealing with and combating sexual violence. It’s not really clear what exactly these successes are supposed to be.

From the outside, one gets the impression that the church still has a structural problem. The advisory board of those affected by abuse, founded in 2020, was a flop. It is unclear whether a corresponding expert study, which should be available by January 2024, will become a driver for education and processing. The same applies to Kurschus’ successor. You want to wish for it – but faith is missing.


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