Head of German Protestants resigns after DWI bust

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

The head of Germany’s 25 million Protestants resigned on Wednesday after police stopped her for driving while under the influence of alcohol just four months after becoming the third woman to head a major Christian Church.

Known as the “pop bishop,” 51-year-old Margot Kaessmann is a regular on television talk shows and had been a controversial choice as head of Germany’s EKD, the main association of Protestant churches, because she is a divorced mother of four.

Betraying no emotion, Kaessmann told reporters she had made a grave mistake which she deeply regretted…

With immediate effect, she would give up her role as leader of the EKD, an umbrella group of 22 Lutheran, Reformed and United Churches, and as Lutheran bishop of Hanover, she said.

State prosecutors in the northern city of Hanover had said on Monday Kaessmann was under investigation and could lose her driver’s license for a year after police stopped her for shooting a red light on Saturday night.

She was found to have a blood-alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit, the prosecutors said.

I wonder if we’d get a similar decision from the heads of American religious assemblies? Or would they follow the accepted pattern of shedding a few tears on TV – presume forgiveness from their invisible spirit – and carry on as if nothing unusual had occurred?