Top Protestant Bishop in Germany Caught Driving Drunk

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  • Bishop Margot Kaessmann
    (Photo: ALC / File)
    Hannover Bishop Margot Kaessmann, chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, EKD, was elected during the 11th synod of the EKD in Ulm, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009.
By Aaron J. Leichman, Christian Post Reporter
February 23, 2010|11:38 pm

The head of the largest Protestant church body in Germany was pulled over this past weekend after running a red light.

What’s worse was that Bishop Margot Kassmann, 51, was found by police to have a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent – three times more than the legal limit for driving in Germany.

"I am shocked at myself for committing such a grievous error," Kassmann told the German daily Bild newspaper.

"I am aware how dangerous and irresponsible it is to drink and drive. I will accept the legal consequences," she added.

Kassmann, who was elected last October to serve as the first female chairperson of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) Council, is the top representative of the EKD, an umbrella group representing nearly 25 million German Protestants from Lutheran, Reformed and United Churches.

The Lutheran bishop was elected overwhelmingly during the 11th synod of the EKD, receiving 132 of the 142 votes casts despite having made headlines and faced criticism in 2007 for divorcing her husband of 26 years.

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Aside from her divorce, the outspoken and charismatic leader has also been criticized for her comments on the “unjustifiable” war in Afghanistan and for remarks against Catholic teachings on homosexuality, the ordination of women and celibacy.

Prosecutors say the mother of four must now face criminal proceedings for drunk driving, and could be punished with a fine and loss of driving privileges for up to a year.

It was not immediately known how the incident would be addressed by the EKD.

 

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