Thinking Anglicans

Sweden: episcopal consecrations

Updated Monday

This coming Sunday, the Church of Sweden will consecrate two new bishops at Uppsala Cathedral.

The candidates are:

  • Tuulikki Koivunen Bylund, who will become Bishop of Härnösand in northern Sweden, and
  • Eva Brunne, who will become Bishop of Stockholm.

There has been speculation on various websites about the non-attendance of Anglican representatives at this service.

The English language Swedish site The Local published Anglicans snub Swedish lesbian bishop. But initially, as Episcopal Café reports, the story was written differently:

Five bishops from various levels within the Anglican Church, including Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have decided not to attend the November 8th ceremony, the Dagen newspaper reports.

“The Anglican Church has a moratorium right now concerning the ordination of bishops who live together with someone of the same sex,” Alan Harper, a bishop from Armagh in Northern Ireland, told the newspaper.

Now the report says that:

Swedish Archbishop Anders Wejryd, who will conduct the ordination of Brunne and Koivunen Bylund, disputed the claim that the Church of England was somehow boycotting the ceremony.

“That’s not true at all,” he told the Kyrkans Tidning newspaper.

“We send invitations to those with the highest rank. That’s why the Archbishop of Canterbury received an invitation, but no one expected him to say yes.”

He added that the Church of England would be represented by the Reverend Karen Schmidt, who serves as the Bishop’s Chaplain for the Portsmouth Diocese, with which the Stockholm Diocese has a twinning relationship whereby church leaders from both diocese conduct reciprocal visits with one another.

The Church of Ireland Gazette has a report, which (with the editor’s permission) is reproduced in full below the fold.

Updates

The Living Church published Anglicans Respond Coolly to Swedish Consecration which contains further discussion of who did or did not attend, and why.

Pictures of the actual event can be found in Swedish reports, here, and also here.

Church of Ireland Gazette – issue dated 6 November
Porvoo Anglicans not due at Swedish consecrations

The Gazette understands that none of the Anglican Porvoo Communion Churches (the Church of Ireland, the Church of England, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales) will be represented at the 8th November consecrations of two new Swedish bishops – Dean of Uppsala, the Very Revd Tuulikki Koivunen Bylund for the diocese of Härnösand, and the Revd Eva Brunne for the diocese of Stockholm.

Particular controversy surrounds the consecration of the Revd Eva Brunne as she lives in a civil partnership with a female partner and has a young child.

We understand that while the Church of Ireland and the Church in Wales received invitations, both of which were turned down, no invitation was received by the Scottish Episcopal Church or the Church of England.

On 22nd October, the Swedish General Synod decided to allow same-sex weddings in Church as from 1st November, six months after the state changed the law on marriage to encompass homosexual people.

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JCF
JCF
11 years ago

“For I tell you, none of those who were invited shall taste my banquet.” (Luke 14:24)

Charlotte
Charlotte
11 years ago

Well, there we are. The Church of England is breaking communion with the Church of Sweden. And they will not accept TEC in “their” communion even if we sign the Covenant, because (they say) we couldn’t possibly mean it even if we do. With the Ugandan church, of course, they have no problem. So what’s stopping us (the North Americans) from joining with the Church of Sweden and the ELCA and telling the C of E to go get stuffed? Consider well. If you want to know what it’s really going to be like to stay in “communion” with the… Read more »

BillyD
11 years ago

“So what’s stopping us (the North Americans) from joining with the Church of Sweden and the ELCA and telling the C of E to go get stuffed?”

I must say, this is sounding better and better.

John
John
11 years ago

Charlotte, BillyD:
I could not agree more. We do not need the C of E, nor the Anglican Communion. Let’s strengthen our relations with ELCA, the Moravians, the Methodists, the churches in the Utrecht Communion — those churches willing to work alongside us.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

Look, it is completely obvious, now, no matter how big a defender of Williams and the Brocade Horde you’ve been, that his blind hatred of Americans combined with an equally blind toadying to Rome has led to his complete dereliction of duty toward the Anglican Communion. As such, the AC *as we have known it* has now flatlined. We allowed a madman to stay in control, appeasing his enemies and alienating his allies, and the AC IS dead. We either die with it, or cut off the necrotic flesh, restructure the organs, and create a smaller, but healthy organism. That’s… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
11 years ago

Charlotte, speaking as an outsider, it seems to me that you are exaggerating. The C of E has not broken communion with the TEC or with the Church of Sweden and as far as I know has no intention of doing so. The Covenant has no chance of working, because it would put the bishops of Uganda and Nigeria in the First Tier and those of the TEC in the Second Tier — this would alter the character of Anglicanism in a way totally inconsistent with its tradition, which has never previously given such honored primacy to biblical fundamentalists.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“So what’s stopping us (the North Americans) from joining with the Church of Sweden and the ELCA and telling the C of E to go get stuffed?” – Charlotte, on Friday – The simple fact, Charlotte, that the majority of ordinary people in the Church, like you and me, do not agree with the exclusivness of those who would condemn the Church of Sweden, in its appointment of its new woman Bishop; nor of the TEC s prophetioc stance on the ordination of women and gays, and its longing to bless the union of same-sex persons. The present stand-off is… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

Much “cutting of weeds” is done in the reporting on the subject of invitations to tomorrow’s consecrations…

The Church of Sweden generally is not good at explaining – especially in difficult political circumstances (I refer to the Anglican Wars). I suggest we be careful not to jump to any conclusions as to who has been invited and not…

barmoss gothenburg
barmoss gothenburg
11 years ago

Last time a woman bishop was ordained in Sweden (2007), I was invited to represent the C of E, on the grounds that “As the issue of women in the episcopate is still under debate in the Church of England, our current policy – which the Church of Sweden graciously accepts – is that we do not have episcopal representation at such consecrations.” Sending a bishop’s chaplain seems like some progress has been made.

Pierre Whalon
11 years ago

For what it’s worth, I have not been invited, though I have good relations with Swedish bishops. I am not taking it personally, of course. TEC is not a Porvoo signatory, and we have only this past summer decided to ask to begin full-communion talks with the Swedish Lutherans. Because we have recognized their orders for a long time, I had no trouble licensing a Swedish deacon for work with us, Siw Ölmelid. She’s been a terrific addition.

Bishop Pierre Whalon
Europe

Charlotte
Charlotte
11 years ago

Father Ron Smith, please note that TEC isn’t running of on its own. Your own church’s leaders have told us that you do not recognize us as members of the Anglican Communion, and will not so recognize us even if we sign the Anglican Communion. Not unless we submit completely to the evos’ will in all things can we be members of the Anglican Communion. What would it mean to submit to the evos? Those who don’t know really should have a look at : http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/forum/thread.cfm?thread=13552. Here’s the backstory. “Celinda” is a long-time member of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh,… Read more »

John B. Chilton
11 years ago

“We understand that while the Church of Ireland and the Church in Wales received invitations, both of which were turned down, no invitation was received by the Scottish Episcopal Church or the Church of England.” (quoting C of I Gazette)

Kelvin Holdsworth http://www.thurible.net/20091105/swedish-consecration/#comments“ reports (scroll down) from Scotland “the Swedes invite Anglican bishops to their consecrations in rotation – sometimes, Irish bishops, sometimes Welsh bishops, sometimes English bishops, sometimes Scottish bishops. Seems that this time around it was not our turn.”

m
m
11 years ago

From the Diocese of Lincoln (UK) intercessions diary for tomorrow, Sunday 8th.

“We give thanks for the developing relationship
between the Diocese of Lincoln and the Diocese of
Härnösand in Sweden and pray today for The Very
Revd Tuulikki Koivunen Bylund and her consecration
as the new Bishop of Härnösand.”

This bit of the CofE is making its feelings fairly plain…..

Bishop Alan Wilson
11 years ago

As someone who has particpated in Swedish episcopal ordinations as a proud and honoured guest of our own Swedish link diocese, there is another real and solvable problem that really does need sorting out about the working of the Porvoo agreement, nothing to do with the gay issue, but becoming increasingly anomalous. Although I am absolutely no expert on such matters, I believe it would bear on any involvement by a C of E bishop in this service. In principle our ministries are interchangeable, and I have deployed Swedish clergy in my area. However one detail that has not been… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“Father Ron Smith, please note that TEC isn’t running off on its own. Your own church’s leaders have told us that you do not recognize us as members of the Anglican Communion, and will not so recognize us even if we sign the Anglican Communion. Not unless we submit completely to the evos’ will in all things can we be members of the Anglican Communion.’ – Charlotte, on Saturday – Charlotte, not so! My affiliation is with the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand, which has made no such statement of dissociation from TEC. In fact, one of our senior New… Read more »

Neil
Neil
11 years ago

The ‘problem’ for Eva Brunne from the leadership of the CofE is not that she is a lesbian, but that she is open about it. Same for Gene Robinson. Some of the prominent women who are leading candidates in the CofE to be consecrated as bishops are lesbian – but they are discreet. And their sexuality is not generally known. Furthermore it seems easier for some reason for women not be be ‘suspected’ than men. As long as they keep quiet, there will be no problem for a whole raft of lesbians to be made bishops – just as many… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
11 years ago

Sorry Father Ron Smth — thought you were Church of England. My error!

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
11 years ago

“So what’s stopping us (the North Americans) from joining with the Church of Sweden and the ELCA and telling the C of E to go get stuffed?” – Charlotte Well, this Episcopalian does not want to be a Lutheran, or a Methodist, in the same way that he does not want to be a Baptist, or other neo-Puritan fundamentalist. I say stay the course, affirm our Anglican roots, keep close to our brothers and sisters in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Church of Wales, and the Church of Ireland, and the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Church… Read more »

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

“As long as they keep quiet, there will be no problem”

Silence = Death, Neil.

The Closet is a Crypt.

Neil
Neil
11 years ago

Well yes JCF. I agree. I am merely observing that this ‘silent’ approach has been acceptable in the past in the CofE, and it seems presently. It is just a little surprising that some of the prominent candidates to become women bishops allow their names to remain in the ring, whilst remaining in a Crypt. Openness…for both men and women, you must realise…is simply not acceptable for a CofE bishop in the present climate.

But who remembers bishops? It will be the courage of the bold that will be remembered.

BillyD
11 years ago

“Why on earth would we want TEC out of fellowship with us? We have our own problems, but by and large we are a liberal and outward-looking Church.”

Oh, we wouldn’t, Father. We’ll let you join, too. 🙂

But remaining in communion with places like Uganda, Nigeria, and, increasingly, their enablers in England, looks less and less attractive.

Nick Lincoln
Nick Lincoln
11 years ago

I really think that those of you in TEC ought to remember that you have many friends in the Church of England who support you wholeheartedly, and find the direction you are taking to be a source of great encouragement and hope.

It is a little disappointing and quite hurtful, actually, for Charlotte and Jerry Hannon and others to say that the CofE should “get stuffed”, and that you should ignore us and concentrate on your relations with other churches.

Simon Sarmiento
11 years ago

Bishop Alan Wilson raises an important issue. It’s presumably not Swedish-specific or even Porvoo-specific, though. There are many Anglican clergy ordained by women bishops in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and soon if not already in Australia.

Questions about this have been asked in General Synod before, and perhaps it is time they were asked again.

Craig Nelson
11 years ago

The question of why not all become Lutheran is an interesting one. Of course there are fewer Lutherans than Anglicans but what is in a name. In Porvoo we have full communion between Anglican and Lutheran churches. TEC has full communion with ELCA. The English Reformation is full of all sorts of historical accidents starting with Henry VIII but by no means ending there. Like the fact that although Anglicans look sort of Lutheran the English Reformation took a Calvinistic turn as to Predestination and sacraments (in the 39 Articles at least). Accident number two is the fact that due… Read more »

Kelvin Holdsworth
11 years ago

In the Scottish Episcopal Church, clergy who have been ordained by a bishop who happens to be female are regarded the same way as clergy ordained by bishops who happen to be male. They were regarded as having parity even before the SEC chose to make its ordinal an inclusive language one.

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
11 years ago

” It is a little disappointing and quite hurtful, actually, for Charlotte and Jerry Hannon and others to say that the CofE should “get stuffed”, and that you should ignore us and concentrate on your relations with other churches.” – Nick Lincoln I can’t speak for Charlotte, but that is not what I am saying about the Church of England. I merely note that I do not expect the CofE to become supportive of TEC for some time, given the extent of the angst witihin that church of the Anglican Communion, and the lack of demonstrated support from most of… Read more »

Fr Mark
11 years ago

Craig: “Lutherans seem to be navigating current difficulties much better than Anglicans so I think there is value in examining our shared heritage.” Yes, I think you’re quite right. The three Scandinavian monarchies, in particular, are so close to the UK, not only geographically, but in so many other ways. Perhaps the Anglican churches of the British Isles should be approaching the Scandinavian churches in order to learn from them, rather than merely scold them, as the C of E’s representatives rather embarrassingly and pointlessly did to the Church of Sweden over its recent marriage vote. British social mores have… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
11 years ago

Look the dynamics are all too polarized and morphed already, plain and simple. Either we stay in communion with Canterbury and holy high roller conservative Anglicans like Sydney, Nigeria and Uganda and Rwanda and… while they constantly repeat lies and rumors and nastiness about us in too many ways to count, while sucking off as much in the way of available time and and church resources as are “realign-able”; or we split (at least de facto) and emphasize common prayer and Tikkun service instead of weaponized Anglican doctrines, preachments, and fighting. What if the Anglican conservatives gave yet another war… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

“British social mores have been moving closer and closer to Scandinavian ones over the past few decades…”

In your dreams. Your dreams about what Scandinavia is like. Based mainly on Danish films of the 1960ies and you concept of “sauna”.

England in in several respects much more “liberal” but I do remember how I was tortured with queries of “permissive society” back in 1972, when working in London ;=)

I didn’t understand what the word meant for quite a while – so I just smiled politely.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

I don’t believe that TEC can be a part of the AC while Rowan Williams is ABC.

He is hellbent-for-leather to beat us down. Instead of talking about TEC going off on its own, come with us!

Fr Mark
11 years ago

Goran: “In your dreams. Your dreams about what Scandinavia is like. Based mainly on Danish films of the 1960ies and you concept of “sauna”.”

Goran, I do live in Scandinavia, and spend a good deal of time in Sweden (where we own a Summer-house/ torp, in fact). While of course I defer to your expertise, if not to your bluntness, my admittedly shallow perceptions are based on first-hand experience rather than dreams. I have been there and bought the T-shirt, so to speak.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
11 years ago

It has always struck me that bi-lateral conversations between churches have their limitations and that ARCIC should really have become an RC/Anglican /Lutheran dialogue…a lot of contemporary Lutheran theology esp in ,say, Sweden and the US, is less “confessional” than it was, and Lutherans could well bring some deeper theological rigour which might assist the somewhat “erasmian” approach of Anglicans.I have often wondered how much coop there is between Lutherans/Anglicans in Tanzania or Brasil or elsewhere ouside Europe and N America.Does anyone know??

Swedish Lutheran
Swedish Lutheran
11 years ago

Many Swedes have read Tolkien, admire Winston Churchill, love to visit London and/or the English/Scottish countryside.

Many Brits love Abba (and the musical Mamma Mia), read Swedish crime fiction and have very seldom waged war on us (compared to some other European countries).

So I’m siding with Fr Mark, I believe we’re a marriage made in heaven.

(Btw, Swedes are totally charmed when they travel the English countryside and shopkeepers etc. call them “Dear” and “Love”.)

Fr Mark
11 years ago

Good for you, Swedish Lutheran! Many of us Brits are Scandophiles too. Though my more serious point was that a society without such blatant gender/ sexuality inequality as formerly, which has become normal recently in the UK, was achieved earlier here in Scandinavia. In that respect, British society has grown closer to Scandinavia (and also the Low Countries) in some important ways. Perhaps having a Church attempting to the minister to the whole nation, which has been necessarily inclusive on that account, rather than perceived as a sectarian divisive force, has helped that process in Scandinavia? I think that there… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

Dear Fr Mark, your acquaintance with Scandinavia doesn’t show. Sweden never had Continental (Roman) misogyny. Women kept their right of inheritance. But in fact, it’s the other way around from what you think. The very few women engaged in business are practically all daughters (heirs) or widows of past owners, just as it was a thousand years ago (witness of the Rune stones). British (and Continental) business has a much larger representation of women in middle to top management than we do. I understood this (working in London in 1972) to be the effect of two World Wars, when women… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

“60s movies and saunas didn’t come into it at all, Göran”

Then learn.

Swedish Lutheran
Swedish Lutheran
11 years ago

While the business world remains a conservative pocket in Sweden (as in most countries), I think you’re totally misrepresenting the progress already made, Göran. More than 40 percent women in parliament, almost 50 percent in recent governments.

The growing share of fathers who stay home with their newborns (paternal leave) for at least three months will have a profound affect on not only family life, but Swedish society as a whole.

Inequality in society feeds on inequality in the households.

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

That’s the future.

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

The numbers in Riksdagen, not least in Konstitutionsutskottet, show the relative decline of Parliament since the 19th century…

Fr Mark
11 years ago

“Then learn.”

Bless you, too, Göran. We all bear with each other.

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