A Grief Observed – On Being a Living Priest in a Dying Church in Sweden


July 11th, 2010 Posted in Church of Sweden |

by Folke T. Olofsson, Touchstone (Hat Tip William Tighe)

[…..]  Since my fifteenth year, the year of my baptism, I have been a communicant member of the Church of Sweden. I have gone to communion regularly for 45 years in what I thought was the real Church.

During these years I have lived with and through all the changes that have taken place: I have seen them being prepared, have heard the arguments, seen the campaigns, and encountered the propaganda, threats, false promises, and lies with which they were frequently implemented. I have seen how the church has been occupied and taken over from both the outside and the inside. I have seen how those who stood up for the traditional Christian faith were marginalized and even eliminated from the church.

The issue of women’s ordination is both pivotal and illustrative. “Those who do not approve of the ordination of women must leave the Church of Sweden,” Bishop Caroline Krook of Stockholm announced in a newspaper interview, and the political and religio-political establishment and the mass media, with few exceptions, echoed her.

Typical was an editorial by Ulla Johansson for the Christian Socialist magazine Broderskap (Brotherhood): “Throw out the church hooligans. . . . The Church of Sweden has to stop talking drivel. It goes without saying that those who cannot think of working together with a woman or ordain a woman should not hold an official office in the Church of Sweden.” In an interview in a diocesan magazine, Rolf Forslin, a deacon and leading church politician, was equally blunt: “If it doesn’t suit them, let them start their own business; one has to be hard on those opposing the ordination of women.”

If you want to stay, you have to obey the innovators, against tradition and against your conscience.

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