A media report puts pressure on the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference. Georg Bätzing is said to have promoted a pastor – although he knew about allegations of sexual harassment.
The chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Bätzing, promoted a pastor despite allegations of sexual harassment. Bätzing appointed the man in his Limburg diocese to the district dean, although he had previously warned him about harassment, reported the “Zeit” supplement “Christ
The Catholic priest is said to have verbally and physically sexually harassed a Protestant pastor in training in 2000. According to research, the same pastor molested a second woman between 2006 and 2007. She was in training at the time and is now a Catholic parish officer. Both women describe their experiences in «Christ
A spokesman for Bätzing announced on Tuesday that it was correct that the bishop had issued a warning against the priest. Before the person concerned was appointed district dean, the allegations were re-examined. Also because it was not a matter of criminal behavior and because the pastor was insightful and remorseful and he apologized to the parish officer for his behavior, the bishop then appointed him district dean.
The canon lawyer Thomas Schüller sharply criticized Bätzing’s actions. “It is a shameful process for Bishop Bätzing, because the whole contempt for women in the church comes to light here,” Schüller told the German Press Agency. “Women are still not taken seriously when they report such incidents. The thinking is: If there are sexual acts between a priest and an adult woman, then it is by mutual consent, because the woman could have defended herself. The fact that there was a total dependency in this case, for example, is completely ignored. Bätzing wants to be a trendsetter, but repeats old mistakes.”