Latest Developments in State Church of Finland
Latest developments from Finland:
Two separate developments were made public yesterday in Finland, creating a wonderful (sic!) irony that accurately describes the state of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland:
(1) Pastor Jari Rankinen, who has been under investigation by the cathedral chapter of the archdiocese of Turku for a good part of this year, on account of his refusal to share an altar with ordained women, has been suspended, both from his position within his congregation and from the pastoral office for three months for that crime, pending any appeal he may launch. He is the second pastor, following Vesa Pöyhtäri of Oulu diocese last month, to face suspension for non-co-operation with female pastors. Pastor Rankinen’s appeal to his Word-bound conscience was not considered a valid defence.
(2) Pastor Leena Huovinen has been named Pastor of the Year by the Pastors’ Union, the professional body for Lutheran pastors in Finland. Earlier this year, Ms. Huovinen came to nationwide prominence by openly admitting that she has blessed same-sex unions on her own initiative. For her, to act thus is a matter of conscience.
Please pray for pastors Rankinen and Pöyhtäri, their congreagations, and for the whole, sorry Church of Finland.