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ENI Story on First Lesbian Lutheran Bishop in Sweden

May 29th, 2009
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Ecumenical News International
Daily News Service
29 May 2009

Swedish Lutheran church elects bishop in lesbian partnership
ENI-09-0436

Uppsala, Sweden, 29 May (ENI)–The newly-elected Lutheran bishop of Stockholm says that being a lesbian means she wants to stand alongside people who feel powerless.

“I know what it is to be called into question,” Brunne said in an article on the Web site of the Church of Sweden (www.svenskakyrkan.se) after her 26 May election. “I am in the lucky situation that I have power and I can use it for the benefit of those who have no power,” said Brunne, currently dean of the diocese of Stockholm.

Brunne is the first Church of Sweden bishop to live in a registered homosexual partnership, the Uppsala-headquartered church said, and she is believed to be the first openly lesbian bishop in the world.

Fifty-five year old Brunne lives with priest Gunilla Lindén in a partnership that has received a church blessing. They have a three-year-old son.

“Once you have been baptised, no one can say you cannot be part of the Church because you are homo-, bi-, or transsexual,” the Web site of the French periodical Tétu quoted Brunne as saying.

She clinched the post by 413 votes against the 365 votes for Hans Ulfvebrand and she will succeed Bishop Caroline Krook, who is to retire in November.

In 2003, the consecration of a V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay divorced man who lives with a male partner, as an Episcopal (Anglican) bishop in the United States, triggered a deep division and threatened a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Lutheran churches throughout the world hold different views about matters such as the acceptance of homosexuals in church life, and blessings for same-sex relationships in some Northern countries.

The Church of Sweden, which offers a special blessing for same-sex couples, has faced criticism from some other Lutheran churches, particularly those in African countries.

In 2005, leaders of the Lutheran World Federation removed Kenyan Bishop Walter E. Obare Omwanza as an advisor to its main governing body, the LWF Council, after he consecrated a bishop from a breakaway Lutheran grouping in Sweden, opposed to women priests and same-sex marriage. [355 words]

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  1. May 29th, 2009 at 13:24 | #1

    i think one of the saddest things is at the end:
    “In 2005, leaders of the Lutheran World Federation removed Kenyan Bishop Walter E. Obare Omwanza as an advisor to its main governing body, the LWF Council, after he consecrated a bishop from a breakaway Lutheran grouping in Sweden, opposed to women priests and same-sex marriage.”
    it just goes to show that the church is always open to attack by worldly influence and that we must, by the power of the holy spirit, yield only to godly change and resist changing to reflect the world. orthodoxy still exists! praise god!

  2. May 29th, 2009 at 22:37 | #2

    Note how she sees this as being all about *power*. It’s been my observation that that’s often what it comes down to when people whom God has not called and will not call into his ministry insist that no one should deny them what they want — that those who are denying them are doing it just to protect their own power, and that if they get what they want, they will have power (and use it more wisely and lovingly, of course).

  3. Stephen Foxx
    May 30th, 2009 at 06:12 | #3

    It is so heartbreaking that those to whom Romans 1:21 applied used to be the deviant of society, then they became a larger part of mainstream society, then they became the deviant in the churches, then they became a significant part of the main stream of the churches; now they are becoming the leaders of churches. Let us pray earnestly that we can be like those in the opening chapters of Revelation who are “faithful unto death” to whom Christ will “give the crown of life.”

  4. Elaine Weiss
    May 30th, 2009 at 13:43 | #4

    This is really a sad state of affairs – she should have been excluded simply because she is a women add lesbian to the mix this is so anti-christian.

  5. Kyle
    May 30th, 2009 at 16:57 | #5

    @Jeff Samelson
    Sounds like Korah and company in Numbers 16. “They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?” Num 16:3.

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