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1st woman Lutheran bishop resigns; reportedly mishandled abuse allegation

July 19, 2010

The first woman Lutheran bishop has resigned following reports that she may not have been truthful when she said that she had been unaware of abuse allegations against a Lutheran pastor until earlier this year. German media reported that the bishop, Maria Jepsen, had been aware of the allegations in 1999.

“My credibility has been contested,” said Jepsen, who became a Lutheran bishop in 1992. “For that reason, I do not see myself in a position to continue to spread God's word as I had promised.”

“Jepsen has always shown a clear understanding that the victims' needs come first,” said Nikolaus Schneider, the leader of Germany’s Lutherans. “It shows that the Protestants are ready to accept responsibility for what has happened without trying to protect themselves.”


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  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Jul. 19, 2010 5:25 PM ET USA

    Given that the term "woman bishop" is an obvious oxymoron, is "Lutheran" the sole qualifier here? Sad -- another useless barrier against true ecumenism. Mike Harrison Toronto Canada

  • Posted by: Salome - Jul. 19, 2010 4:47 PM ET USA

    It also shows that ordaining women won't make a difference.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 19, 2010 2:58 PM ET USA

    I deny any schadenfreude, but in spite of my best efforts can't avoid finding this mildly hilarious. It's a character fault on my part, I know.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 19, 2010 2:39 PM ET USA

    This will never make the NYT: a woman who is not a Catholic - no news here.