Thinking Anglicans

next Bishop of Stockholm elected

Updated

Although the Church of Sweden is not a part of the Anglican Communion, several provinces of the latter are in full communion with it, by virtue of the Porvoo Agreement. See map showing which provinces here.

The Diocese of Stockholm (link to website in English) has just elected a new bishop. The official news reports are here and also here (both in Swedish). (if the CofS website not working well, here is a Swedish church newspaper report.)

Here’s a report in English from Karl’s Comments:

Lesbian bishop-elect in Stockholm

The Diocese of Stockholm in the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden has elected a new bishop after Caroline Krook, who is retiring. The new bishop-elect is Eva Brunne (55), who received 413 votes against 365 for Hans Ulfvebrand, her opponent in the final second round of the election on May 26.

Bishop-elect Brunne has extensive experience as vicar in the parishes of Flemingsberg and Sundbyberg. Especially Flemingsberg has given her insights into the present religious situation in urban Sweden, where the Church of Sweden is increasingly becoming a minority church, in parallel with Catholic and Orthodox churches of different hue, as well as Muslim and non-religious people. In Flemingsberg, she habitually introduced herself as “the Evangelical Lutheran pastor”, just to make sure.

Eva Brunne lives in a registered partnership with another woman, and has a three-year-old son.

Another blogger reports change is a-coming at prästflickan:

On Monday the Diocese of Stockholm voted for a new bishop. The person who won is called Eva Brunne, and she will be the fifth female bishop in the Church of Sweden.

I know her a little. My experience of her is that she is wise, kind, pious, structured, humble and funny. She is also known to be loyal and a very good leader who takes care of her flock, both employees and other sheep smiles

All in all, she seems to be a perfect choice for bishop, right?

But are those qualities listed above what people discuss? Are they what makes blogs and comments splutter with indignant rage? Of course not. Some people don’t care about Eva’s suitability. The only thing that makes all of these bloggers go absolutely bananas is the fact that Eva happens to be married to a woman.

Funny. And tragic. Mostly tragic.

Please pray for Eva and the Diocese of Stockholm. They have made a good choice, and a brave choice, and your prayers will be needed.

Hat tip Kelvin.

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Ford ElmsFather Ron SmithGöran Koch-SwahneRobert Ian Williamsdrdanfee Recent comment authors
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David G
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Thank God!!

toby forward
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I think this is a brave and prophetic move by the Church of Sweden, and I very much hope that the Church of England will learn from it. How long will it be before here in England the church is courageous enough to appoint a bishop who ‘has extensive experience as a vicar’. Well done, Sweden!

Johncomm
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Johncomm

Doh! Thanks to possibly the most tenuous link in Christendom the Church of England will no doubt be in crisis again tomorrow morning!

susan hedges
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susan hedges

Well said, Toby!

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

BRAVO CHURCH OF SWEDEN and FELCIDADES to Bishop-elect Brunne (also a big abrazo to our friend Göran Koch-Swahne who often keeps us ¨posted¨ on great, and positive, events that come to pass in his beloved Sweden at Church).

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Wow, the conservative blogs are going to have a tabloid-style field day when they get hold of a Swedish lesbian bishop story!

Interestingly, the British press ran lots of headlines about “world’s first lesbian prime minister” in Iceland recently, whereas the Scandinavian press didn’t give her sexuality so much as a mention: I would predict the same here.

jnwall
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jnwall

You go, girl! And the Church of Sweden, too.

john
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john

“How long will it be before here in England the church is courageous enough to appoint a bishop who ‘has extensive experience as a vicar’.”

Well, it has happened – occasionally, but it is often said of bishops who take very hard lines on things (such as homosexuality): “he’s never run a parish”, sc. and so knows nothing of the dignified compromises people of very different persuasions make with obvious realities”.

Funnily enough, this is often said of Tom Wright, Anglicanism’s leading theologian. Why, oh Why, can that be?

A perplexed John.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“On Monday the Diocese of Stockholm voted for a new bishop. The person who won is called Eva Brunne, and she will be the fifth female bishop in the Church of Sweden. I know her a little. My experience of her is that she is wise, kind, pious, structured, humble and funny. She is also known to be loyal and a very good leader who takes care of her flock, both employees and other sheep” – smiles – Sounds like a good bilbical ‘Bishop’ to me, and she does, after all, have only one wife! How refreshing to hear from… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Sounds like a good [Biblical] ‘Bishop’ to me, and she does, after all, have only one wife!”

*LOL* Fr. Ron!

Meanwhile, TEC ties itself in Windsor-Compliant knots, re whether to consecrate another gay-partnered bishop, and the CofE chases its tail re whether to consecrate ANY woman a bishop. |-p

God bless the Church of Sweden!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

No Ron, Prästflickan isn’t called “Smiles”, she is called Maria ;=)

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

I wonder whether the C of E will send a bishop to be among her co-consecrators… ?

toby forward
Guest

Oh, she’s a lesbian. I didn’t pick up on that. Sorry, I don’t see what that’s got to do with anything. Please can we have one of those as a bishop as well? Then we can all forget about what people do in the bedroom and worry about how they run a diocese.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Strange…

Not a sound from the refusniks so far ;=)

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Sorry, Maria. I just could not resist the *smiles* metaphor – which seems so suitable for the celebration of God’s gift of joy at this announcement. But your is a lovely and honoured name in the Universal Church.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“”How long will it be before here in England the church is courageous enough to appoint a bishop who ‘has extensive experience as a vicar’.”

“Well, it has happened – occasionally,…”

So – where DO they come from? In the States, I think I’m accurate in saying that most of our bishops started as parish priests – some got to be cathedral deans before being elected bishop, but very few have NOT had parish experience.

Where do you guys get yours?

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Cynthia: they generally have to have been on lots of committees for many years mixing with other people who think committees are terribly important, and being very careful to avoid expressing strong opinions.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I’m still curious as to the guilty (?) silence from the usual suspects; those who always fuss. Is it a refutation of what we saw in the case of the Bishop of New Hampshire a couple of years ago? Or is it Gender? Is it easier to heap scorn and death threats on a gay man than on a woman? Is it actually more “normal/expected” to be gay for a male bishop than for a lady bishop? How about Colour? Bishop Harris of 20 years hence? Her successor, also a Bishop Harris? A relative silence there too, from those who… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Well we have too many real queer folks on the planet to be able to exactly target them all at once, simultaneously. Even our most weaponized doctrines are finite in application? So, now we focus, focus, focus. Spot in our crosshair lenses are? Gay or lesbian couples who have made life commitments to each other, and of course as tradition has it, also to the surrounding community of family members, friends, and faith community. Why these gay folks are best targets from among all the other possibles, hard to say? Used to be, the moralistic targeting was all aimed at… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

But in the meantime – just rejoice that “The Lord is doing a new thing” – something a living, breathing Church ought to expect – especially in the Easter Season leading up to Pentecost.

“The Spirit of God fills the whole world, Alleluia” and St. Paul tells us all to beware of resisting the Spirit!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“just rejoice that “The Lord is doing a new thing”” The problem is that for conservatives, New Things are suspect, dangerous, and, in all likelihood, wrong. They will lead to the destruction of society. Better to Keep Things The Way They Were. So, God, if He is in any way good, cannot possibly be doing a New Thing. The last time He did a New Thing was 500 years ago when He allowed a bunch of white European men to decide they knew better than the Apostles and those to whom they passed on the Gospel, what that Gospel actually… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

That the very reliable Old Latin translaion was changed beyond recognition in 12th century Paris, surely Ford.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

And the Church of Sweden is usually about thirty years ahead of the Church of England.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

;=)

But the difference New Hampshire – Stockholm?

Bishop for Bishop?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“That the very reliable Old Latin translaion was changed beyond recognition in 12th century Paris, surely Ford.” I’m not sure how this relates to my little bit of sarcasm, Goran. You and I walk closely but not in lockstep an the issue of translation and such things. For instance, we differ on the significance of the non-Pauline material attributed to Paul, since my attitude on those things is High Church rather than scholarly. I’m not a Biblical scholar. Start getting into 12th century translations, however, and I get a bit more uneasy. Bring it up to the 15th and 16th… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

You’re misreading me, Ford. My point is that precisely those that say that “new” is wrong are the ones who changed the Bible. And now they are accusing us!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“My point is that precisely those that say that “new” is wrong are the ones who changed the Bible.” Gotcha! And you’re right. Most glaring is how those most enamoured of the Reformation seem unable to comprehend how, in its day, it was a far more radical and innovative reworking of Christianity than anything that is being proposed in the Anglican church today. As I have said before, it appears from the language of the conservatives that 500 years is roughly how long it takes for radical innovation to become “orthodoxy”. That, I presume, is why the innovations of the… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I knew we are on the same wavelength as to the injustice of the accusations ;=) As to the 2nd century Letters, you are quite right. I regard some of them as outright forgeries, especially the more Hellenist, that is Gnosticist/Philosophical ones. Just look at the Pastorals. They try to represent Paul as anti women and anti slaves, contra his own letters. At the Time this was palatable for Churches under the influences of the Culture of their day, but I don’t think w e should treat it as written by Paul when we k n o w they are… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“To me it’s a small matter of Thruth. And False Witness.” I get your point. But there is the matter of the fixing of the Canon. If it was nothing more than a group of men, well intentioned or otherwise, selecting from the extant writings what is “of God” and what isn’t, I’d share your ideas. But if God had a hand in it, we can’t just say that because something was falsely attributed to Paul, it is therefor a forgery or “not Scripture”, however you interpret that phrase. Also, there is the fact that Paul was a man, inspired… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… and why would that negate their writings?”

Only because they themselves try to negate Paul.

The rest of their writings may be interesting and even valuable on their own merits – but not as the Gospel.

IM not so humble O

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The sub-ordination of women and slaves was not acceptable to Paul, by his own writs. They are not acceptable to us. They shouldn’t be made acceptable in the Church no matter History.

The 2nd century letters have all been – and are still being – abused for Socio-Political teachings pro abstinences, anti women, pro slavery, anti gay and pro war, to give a few examples – promoting the values of Hellenism.

We shouldn’t fall for them!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“We shouldn’t fall for them!” So, after nigh on 2000 years, should we chuck them out of the Canon? Or should we designate them as somehow less authoritative than the other books of Scripture, however we define “authoritative”? I’m sure there are other options, but not only can I not come up with them, I’m sure most conservatives wouldn’t even try. How DO we deal with the fact that we have in our Canon of Scripture books that were not written by the person to whom they were ascribed, and which contradict works we KNOW were written by that person?… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“One thing I have been thinking about is, given that Paul seems somewhat proud about being “all things to all people”, or one might say, “telling people what they like to hear”, I have to ask, how does he decide what things to flip/flop on and what things to hold the line on?” – Ford Elms Dear Ford, your use of the term ‘flip/flop’ here is most interesting – especially in regard to Saint Paul. I’m pretty sure, for instance, that you would not consider his ‘conversion’ to have been a mere case of ‘flip/flopping’; because, if that were so… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Fr. Ron, I agree. And, for me, Paul is a very powerful figure. I don’t understand how someone can go from being an intense persecutor of Christians to their most prominent spokesman without the intervention of something very powerful, and to me, that means God. And niggling about adiaphora? Oh my, yes, don’t we do that though? And of course I’ve flop/flopped in the past. One obvious area is that I was once so disgusted at the Canadian Anglican Church’s inability, to me, to “get it” that I stopped going to Church for 18 years. Those same issues are as… Read more »