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Sweden votes on church weddings

Updated again Monday

From The Local the English language news website in Sweden, comes this report:

The Synod of the Lutheran Church of Sweden has come down in favour of church weddings for homosexuals in a vote held on Thursday morning.

The decision, which is based on a proposal from the church’s governing board, means that the Church of Sweden will conduct wedding ceremonies for both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

The proposal was approved by 176 of 249 voting members…

Our own correspondent reports the vote was 176 Ayes, 62 Noes, 11 Abstentions.

Updates

Swedish Radio has a more detailed report at Church Says Yes to Gay Weddings.

Independent Swedish church agrees to conduct gay weddings by Ilze Filks of Reuters

BBC Sweden church allows gay weddings

AFP Sweden’s Lutheran church to celebrate gay weddings

Religious Intelligence George Conger Sweden church allows gay weddings

Monday updates

Bishop David Hamid has written about this on his blog, Church of Sweden Approves Marriage of Same Sex Couples.

Andrew Brown has written at Cif belief Swedish church not so gay-friendly.

ENS has publised a report from ENI by Trevor Grundy and Fredrick Nzwili Lutheran decision on same-sex marriage draws flak from Africa, England.

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Viriato da SilvaBarbara MossPerry ButlerRobert Ian williamsGöran Koch-Swahne Recent comment authors
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Ed Tomlinson
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More evidence – if any were needed- that the Pope’s liferaft arrives just as the ship begins to sink

drdanfee
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drdanfee

So, as expected-predicted, the other shoes are dropping in changed religious communities. This shift raises the delicate Anglican question: Who then is covenanted to speak positively to the Swedish believers with whom Anglicans are in full communion – about the positive views/welcome that Anglicans give to committed queer folks in couples? Not for now, it appears, will any of the Usual Suspects suffice. Not even Rowan Williams, whose personal best so far is to mildly remind global citizens that Anglicans care to distinguish abstractly between hitting the queer folks in the face, and believing categorically horrid things about them, definitively.… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

I suppose TEC will continue in commmunion with the Lutheran Church of Sweden, while the Church of England will not be in communion with either one.

Fr Mark
Guest

Ed: Really, what a mean-spirited comment! Why on earth would getting their act together vis-a-vis gay couples be a sign of the ship beginning to sink? Isn’t sticking one’s head in the sand and wishing it were still 1950 a more certain way of sinking the ship? Sweden is pretty impressive by comparison with most other socities when it comes to equality for women and gay people (as well as being, with Denmark and Norway, the world’s top per capita aid donors) – don’t knock it, please. Many other Europeans are fairly shocked at the startling inequalities in British society,… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Guest

I may be wrong on this and stand to be corrected but I thought that England was in communion with Sweden (at least up till now…) via Porvoo but not with the US Lutherans who are in Communion with TEC.

It’s all got some wonderful potential for rupture and reunion in many unpredictable ways.

Interesting to see if Porvoo behaves with more sanity than the Anglican Communion over this or if England feels the need to pull out of it.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Don’t worry, Charlotte, I do not think the C.of E. will be swimming the Tiber wholesale. F. i F. clergy will look at the pay options and will remain precisely where they are – that’s my take. The rump of the pro-Roman set in the so-called Traditional Anglican Communion (led by a divorced and re-married Archbishop in Australia) may yet have problems integrating with the Papal Division. English ‘Traditionalists’ will be looking at the likes of TAC and its scattered small communities around the world, and wondering what, after all, they have in common with them – except hatred of… Read more »

PeterK
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PeterK

Charlotte, TEC is not in communion with the Church of Sweden.

Viriato da Silva
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Viriato da Silva

“More evidence – if any were needed- that the Pope’s liferaft arrives just as the ship begins to sink”

Charming, Ed. You have just described a faith community’s welcome and witness for the sacramental union of two individuals like me, who pledge lifelong commitment to each other, as being a sinking ship.

Just as a thought experiment in cultivating Christ-like compassion and Christian caritas, may I suggest you try to imagine someone describing your own wedding to your beloved as being a sinking ship, and meditate upon that for a bit.

David C
Guest
David C

TEC is in full communion relationship with the ELCA, which is a fellow member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) with the Church of Sweden.

Anyone up for a game of six degrees of separation?

Ashpenaz
Guest
Ashpenaz

The Church of Sweden has a valid apostolic succession which not even Rome doubts. So, if someone is a bishop in the Swedish Church, and then wants to join the Anglican rite, does that bishop have to be reordained?

If an Anglican bishop has been ordained by a Swedish bishop and then wants to join the Anglican Rite, does he have to be reordained?

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

PeterK, AFAIK TEC is in communion now with the Lutheran Church of Sweden through the Porvoo Agreement. The last TEC General Convention, however, approved an ecumenical process distinct from Porvoo and involving TEC only, intended to end in full communion between TEC and the Church of Sweden. If and when concluded, the result would be an arrangement similar to the one TEC currently has with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. That is why I expect that the Church of England will be breaking communion soon with both TEC and the Lutheran Church of Sweden, and TEC, the Church of… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

The Ayes have it. *Common sense gradually prevails.
And common humanity.

Love is the fulfilling of the law.

‘Caritas Christi urget nos.’
* uncommon sense really I guess, spirit led …

JCF
Guest
JCF

Thanks be to God—God bless the Lutheran Church of Sweden! 😀

[While Rome goes poaching for malcontents—a tiny minority of a tiny minority, to be sure!—the LCS is fishing for the great *masses* (pun intended) of Swedes, and Gospel inclusiveness and equality can only HELP them do so.]

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

I thought the Church of Sweden was part of the Porvoo agreement and in communion with the Church of England and churches of the Anglican communion?

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“More evidence – if any were needed- that the Pope’s liferaft arrives just as the ship begins to sink” – Ed Tomlinson –

Ed, What makes you think the Pope needs a liferaft? I knew Venice was slowly sinking, but I wasn’t aware of the Tiber overflowing its banks.

MJ
Guest
MJ

The Porvoo Agreement is only between the Anglican Churches of the British Isles and (most of) the Scandinavian and Baltic Lutheran Churches. It is not an agreement with the whole Anglican Communion.

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

The Porvoo Agreement is between the Church of Sweden and the Church of England (not the Anglican Communion, which I don’t believe has a means of making an agreement to be in communion with a church) – so clergy from one church can serve in the other. Since bishops have oversight over a territory (except in a certain sense the Bishop in Europe and the Bishop of the American Convocation in Europe, since they have oversight only so far as their own churches within Europe are concerned) I would think that bishops aren’t per se interchangeable and, of course ….… Read more »

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

The Porvoo Churches are listed and displayed on a map at http://www.porvoochurches.org/

The Church of Sweden is in communion with the UK Anglican Churches (and with some other churches in the world). This does not mean that the Church of Sweden is in communion with all the churches of the Anglican Communion.

If the US and Canadian Anglican churches were to join up to Porvoo at some time in the future, along with anyone else who was interested, it might provide an interesting strong communion of churches with shared values, in contrast to the other Communion that some of us belong to.

Swedish Lutheran
Guest
Swedish Lutheran

I wouldn´t exclude the possibility that the Church of Sweden is excluded from the Porvoo agreement. The Baltic lutheran churches are definitely on the traditionalist side, and the churches in Finland and Norway aren’t nearly as progressive as the C of S.

Fr Mark
Guest

Swedish Lutheran: the Church of Norway is currently working on a liturgy for same-sex couples, though, and a number of Norwegian priests are performing such marriages in church already http://viaintegra.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/norway-the-gay-issue-6/ Iceland and Finland are both heading in the same direction, though it does seem that the issue has come up more recently in Finland than the other Scandinavian countries. The word on the street in Denmark is that the new Bishop of Copenhagen wants to bring the Danish Church into Porvoo soon too. I think it’s obvious that all the Scandinavian countries will have same-sex church marriage within, say, 5… Read more »

john
Guest
john

Obviously, like most people here, I think this is a jolly good thing. I also think Ed’s comment is cheap precisely in this sense: although he upholds traditional teaching on homosexuality (which is itself not dishonourable), there is a part of him (as he has admitted on this blog) which thinks ‘liberal’ on the issue. He is entitled, from his point of view, to regard the Swedish decision as wrong, but what he cannot do is represent it as final proof of theological degradation.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

You might want to send that liferaft over Lake Erie Ed, your Holy Church of Rome is closing FIFTY parishes here in the Cleveland area. Got to raise money to pay off those lawsuits for predatory priests!

Fifty parishes Ed. All to keep the world’s largest closet open.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“If the US and Canadian Anglican churches were to join up to Porvoo at some time in the future”

The Canadian Church is already in communion with some North American Lutherans.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

THanks for the clarification of the Porvoo Agreement. My understanding is that the separate process initiated by TEC is intended to bring TEC into full communion with the Porvoo Churches. We are already in full communion with the ELCA. I have no doubt that the Church of England will now break communion with Sweden, just as they have rejected TEC. We have been told we will be rejected even if we sign the Anglican Covenant. Well, they don’t need us. Sydney can pay for the next Lambeth; they’re a rich diocese. Plus there will be all those profits from the… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“The Church of Sweden has a valid apostolic succession which not even Rome doubts.”

Which is why, at the beginning of TEC, we contemplated having Swedish bishops consecrate our first bishop. In the end, we sent Samuel Seabury to the non-jurors in Scotland.

And I may well be wrong, but I believe a Swedish bishop was present at +Gene’s consecration – not sure if he laid hands or not.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Sydney can pay for the next Lambeth; they’re a rich diocese. Plus there will be all those profits from the C of E’s participation in that big Manhattan condo conversion.”– Charlotte My understanding is that Sydney finances are not what they once were. While all the Anglican Churches have lost money because of the Great Recession, Sydney was particularly hard hit because of Jensenite financial ineptness. They liked to think of themselves as “THE world’s richest and largest Anglican diocese” (questionable in any case). Yet they have lost more than $A100 million (their $A265 million assets are now worth $A105… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Charlotte seems to think that the CofE is on a fast track to excluding TEC, along with the Church of Sweden, because of the anti-WO/anti-committed relationship gays ordination Anglicans scheme launched by the ultraorthodox hierarchy in the Church of Rome. My belief is that the move by Pope Benedict will help the CofE to realize that the ABC’s program of caving in to the ultraorthodox in England was bound to fail, and that restoring the Anglican Communion to its traditional Broad Church roots, including the English part of the AC,is what will help us to reenergize Anglicanism. The follow-on effect,… Read more »

Virirato da Silva
Guest
Virirato da Silva

Ashpenaz, you wrote: “The Church of Sweden has a valid apostolic succession which not even Rome doubts.” Not so. Although the Anglican churches consider Sweden (and episcopates deriving from Sweden, which include now ELCA in part) as having preserved the historic episcopate, Rome and Orthodoxy consider the apostolic succession to have been ruptured in Sweden during the Reformation (as Rome considers happened in England too, which some but not all churches of Orthodoxy have agreed with over the years). “So, if someone is a bishop in the Swedish Church, and then wants to join the Anglican rite, does that bishop… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

In the 19th century, Swedish Lutherans who had emigrated to the US were advised to attend Episcopal parishes if one was available — as unlike the US Lutherans, the Swedes were assured the succession had been maintained, and staffed with real live bishops. At a very early stage (I don’t recall the date, but I once owned a copy) the American BCP was actually published in Swedish precisely to deal with the immigrant population. For a time the “Red Book” or Church Directory listed TEC in communion with the C of S. There was no formal communion arrangement, however, merely… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“If the US and Canadian Anglican churches were to join up to Porvoo at some time in the future, along with anyone else who was interested, it might provide an interesting strong communion of churches with shared values, in contrast to the other Communion that some of us belong to.” I have said it here before and will say it again: We should work toward a worldwide communion of theologically progressive or “big tent,” liturgical, “Reformed Catholic” churches that preserve (or agree to receive) the historic episcopate. And if Canterbury chooses not to sign on, well, Utrecht and Uppsala are… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Sorry, Kurt, I guess my attempt to signal irony across the Internets has failed yet again! Yes, I had heard that the Diocese of Sydney had made some unwise investments and lost even more money than most of the rest of us have lost in this market. Archbishop Jensen has been wondering aloud whether God is punishing him for something. And in fact, God is punishing him — for making some unwise investments. Jerry Hannon, I hope you are right about the Church of England’s future direction, but I haven’t seen or heard anything recently to encourage me to think… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“The follow-on effect, from the view of a former RC (33 years ago), is that more and more Vatican II oriented Roman Catholics will come to see Anglicanism as their proper home.” – Gerry Hannon And there are many of these (Vatican II -ers) – including presently serving priests, who no doubt will now be eyeing the new ‘Ordinariates’ with a view to leaving the Latin Rite behind, making proposals of marriage, and after a while, joining one of the ‘Ordinariates’. That is – unless Rome starts to vet just who can join up! OR, of course they might just… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The Roman counter argument re Swedish Apostolic Succession is amusing. It amounts to a reference to post Tridentine Cardinal Bellarmin, who sometime in the early 17th century stipulated that the Bishop of Rome was the Sign of Unity, and says that those that do not have the Bishop of Rome as Pope do not have this Unity. I have heard this personally at Lund University. The argument from Calvinist leaning anti Moderns on the other hand, is that Bishop Påvel (Paul) Juusten (*c.1516) of Viborg (1554), later Åbo/Turkku (1563 †1575) was merely ordained by 1 Bishop (Strängnäs, the one remaining)… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

Virirato….. King arthur holding any sword does not make exacilbur. The participation of OC bishops in Anglican lines of succession has always been using the Anglican ordinal and any additional words used f by them are thought to be vitiated by the context and setting. In the case of Graham leonard he entered into a written agreement with a participating OC bishop ( wo said additional words at his Anglican consecrattion )and hence the condional ordination…but still a doubt existed. The union of Utrecht now ordains women and it will be interesting to see how long Rome will unequivocally accept… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Viriato, forty or so years ago the church of England talked about a`”Wider Episcopal fellowship” Im not sure whether it was ever something official, but it was talked about. Not sure when talk of it was dropped.

Barbara Moss
Guest
Barbara Moss

The Church of Sweden is in communion with the Swedish Mission Covenant Church, which is non-episcopal. Intercommunion is not associative: if A is in communion with B and B is in communion with C, it does not follow that A is in communion with C. The mutual recognition promised by Porvoo is currently impaired in (at least) the following ways (1)Swedes confirmed by their parish priest, as is the usual practice, who wish to seek ordination in the Church of England, have to be reconfirmed; (2) Swedish priests who were ordained by women bishops are not eligible for service in… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

RIW, Graham Leonard’s consecration was in no way unique or different from that of the other “Dutch Touch” conescrations. See http://www.northernbishop.com/articlesnews/otherarticles/dutchtouch.htm; see also http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2008/12/apostolicae-curae.html The first link makes for you the weak Roman argument regarding how this taking place within the overall Anglican ordinal itself somehow magically ignores that proper form, matter, and intent were all present, but reiterates the fact that the OC consecrators used the Roman Pontifical’s form. So for Rome to be consistent, if x+Leonard merited at least sub conditione from them (and no diaconal (re)ordination either, btw), so too should all holders of CoE orders whom… Read more »