Cindy on November 3, 2009 at 11:12 am
Ulm, Germany. On October 28th, the Protestant body council elected its first female to head the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD). Bishop Margot Kaessmann, 51, won the election in a landslide, receiving 132 out of the 142 votes cast, and happens to now be the youngest person serving on this council.
When Kaessmann was consecrated eight years ago, she was the country’s youngest bishop, where she served 10 years in Hanover which has the largest regional church in the EKD. A mother of four, Kaessmann made headlines in 2007 after she divorced her husband of 26 years, and at that point had made history as the first serving bishop in Germany to file for divorce. Details about the divorce have been kept private in respect to the family.
Last year, Kaessmann successfully survived an operation for breast cancer, and was also voted Woman of the Year by a notable German magazine.
Ms. Kaessmann’s term will last six years as top representative of the EKD, which is an umbrella group representing nearly 25 million German Protestants – a combination of Lutheran, Reformed, and United Churches.
Some of her upcoming plans include streamlining the church’s clergy, increasing its over all public profile, reviving the church through “youthful energy”, and improving strained relations with the Catholic Church.
I find it interesting that this comes during the era when Germany has not only just elected its first woman German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, but just officially reelected her to a second term. Women in powerful positions, in a country not typically known for that.
Well, hopefully Ms. Kaessmann will achieve success in this church revival she is aiming for. She sure seems tenacious enough to do it.