Sexual abuse in Protestant parsonages: The master of the house – Culture

In Protestant parsonages, official and private, public and secret matters have always mixed together. About a legendary place of German culture – and a safe space from sexual violence.

A married Protestant pastor, called “BP” in the anonymized reports, went on vacation with his confirmation candidates at the end of the 1980s. “Confirmants”, as a reminder, are “those who need to be confirmed in their faith”. The man is popular, he comes across as left-wing, committed, relaxed and alternative, “in his jeans and his Birkenstocks and his turtleneck sweater,” as one affected person describes it. The young people at the time noticed this positively, because his parish somewhere in West Germany was “rurally located in the distant surroundings of a big city” and had a middle-class, conservative character.

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