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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another purple shirt with a pink triangle . . ..

May 29, 2009
Church of Sweden elects lesbian bishop

Religion News Service

UPPSALA, Sweden (RNS/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," the Rev. Eva Brunne said in an article on the Web site of the Church of Sweden after her Tuesday (May 26) 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."

Brunne, who is currently the dean of the Stockholm diocese, 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.

Brunne, 55, lives with priest Gunilla Linden in a partnership that has received a church blessing. They have a three-year-old son.

"Once you have been baptized, 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 Ttu quoted Brunne as saying.

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

In 2003, the consecration of a V. Eugene Robinson, an openly gay man who lives with a male partner, as the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire triggered a deep division and threatened a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Lutheran churches throughout the world hold different views about matters of human sexuality, including the acceptance of homosexuals in church life and blessings for same-sex relationships.

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.


June Butler said...

Brava Bishop-elect Brunne! Wow! First in the world.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Some corrections:

The election was Monday 25/5. It was published Monday afternoon. I wrote shortly about it on Friends of Jake Monday afternoon.

Gunilla's name is written with an accent: Lindén. Stress the second syllable. Plain Linden means the Linden tree in the definite.

I have met both of them. They are most sympathetic and deeply respected.

Bishop Elect Brunne is currently "Diocesan Dean" of Stockholm, a new invented designation for a close collaborator of the out-going Bishop. Mr Ulvebrand is Vicar of Sophia Parish in central Stockholm where the Rainbowmasses are ;=)

What I wonder about is the S i l e n c e. The compact (and guilty?) Silence about this. what is the difference to New Hampshire a couple of years back?

(the word is "eniqui" ;=)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I apologize for not spelling with an appropriate accent, Göran. It's embarrassing, b/c I think you tried to teach me once, but the only way I know how to do that with your name is to 'copy and paste'.

You know, I didn't know about this election and ordination until I got a note from +Gene asking if he was the last to know about this major event.

Apparently, I was. It is most curious that there is so little buzz about this. This is amazing. then again, she's just the first WOMAN - not anywhere near as glamorous as the first gay MAN.

I know how that sounds and I'm not pleased with myself for saying it, but the reason you winced when you read my words is b/c you know its true.

And, there may be something else about the silence. What?

David@Montreal said...

'Once you have been baptized, no one can say you cannot be part of the Church because you are homo-, bi-, or transsexual,"

And may the Anglican Communion respond 'Amen.'

Jim said...

Help me here - isn't the Swedish church in full fellowship with the Church of England? The silence from the holier-than-god side of the world is amazing.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

It's outright embarrassing really.

First all the fuss about +Gene - and then nothing. Could it be that it's a woman? Is it somehow within the "normal/expected" for male clergy to be gay?

Is this one thing too much? Don't the anti Moderns manage to get exited over 2 things at once?

Is it too troubling that their Anglican pseudo Roman prejudices don't fly elswhere?

Above all this questions their cry over +New Hampshire. Was it at all serious?

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

But you don't need to apologise over the spelling thing at all.

It's totally un-expected for non Swedish speakers. And the erroneous date came from the article.

What I react to is the (guilty) silence. Makes the whole +Gene history look like theatre and pretending...

But we knew that all along, didn't we ;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Now you've posted this on the HOB/D list and Thinking Anglicans gave a link to a Scottish blog yesterday...

Still not a word.

Brother David said...

I had a conversation with Father Kelvin about this on his blog, What’s in Kelvin’s Head.

He is usually a bit low key and circumspect with his opinions, but he pointed out some surprising issues to me about His Grace the ABC of the CoE and women bishops and primates.

The Anglican churches of the British Isles are in full communion with the CoS through the Porvoo Agreement, which involves the concepts that members of any one church would be recognized as members of any of the others, and that the three offices of clergy; bishop, priest and deacon, episcopally ordained, of any one church are recognized as such by the others.

But it appears that this has exceptions regarding women bishops and the CoE!

Doorman-Priest said...

"What I wonder about is the S i l e n c e. The compact (and guilty?) Silence about this. what is the difference to New Hampshire a couple of years back?"

I was wondering too.

I suspect Europeans care less about "that sort of thing" than Americans.

Terrible generalisation there I know.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

This is so helpful, Dah.veed. Wouldn't you know that it was all about 'gentleman's agreements' - makes it so much easier when 'this sort of unpleasantness' happens, you see.

Ah, the British! Masters of "Let's Make a Deal" - perhaps because they still believe the sun never sets on the British Empire. They are so fully of themselves they really can't see anyone else - especially women. Maybe that's why their humor is so much about men dressing in women's clothes and singing falsetto. And, maybe that's why I never found it funny.

Come to think of it, I think I've just discovered the real 'genius' of +++Rowan, and it has nothing to do with either his intellect or spirituality.

I know. Wretched woman am I.

Tee hee.

Paul Powers said...

Perhaps part of the reason, Dean Brunne's election has received so little reaction is that it hasn't been widely covered in the English-speaking press. I could only find three references to it on Google News.

Besides, her election has been upstaged by the hooplah over Padre Alberto Cutié's reception into the Episcopal Church.

When the choice is between a story about a handsome Catholic priest who's been photographed with a woman while they were re-enacting the beach scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in "From Here to Eternity," and a story about two Swedish priests who are living together in a monogamous relationship, you know which one is going to grab all the attention.

Word verification: reverso

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You know what, Paul? I agree with you. I think it's much more exciting for some to titter and tut over sexual escapades - even heterosexual ones - than the boring lives of a partnered lesbian with kids.

How pathetic is that?

Anonymous said...


I have again quoted extensively from your blogpost and linked to it (and also your earlier post about a few good (straight) men. Here is a bit of what I say before I quote your post:

I suppose most of us are proud of our ancestry. This week, I am especially proud to call myself a Swede upon news that the newly elected Lutheran bishop of Stockholm is a lesbian in a state registered homosexual partnership with another priest. That she is Lutheran is also a source of pride for me, and since my hometown is Upsala, Minnesota, the election of Rev. Eva Brunne from Uppsala, Sweden just makes it all the sweeter.

Muthah+ said...

I have been at Lutheran Synod meeting all weekend and did not see this until yesterday. I LOVE IT!!! I showed it to one of my more conservative members following service yesterday and all he said in true German commentary "Well, those Swedes have always been much more sexually permissive than other people!" It took all I could do to keep from laughing out loud.

I outed myself on the Synod Meeting floor asking them to support their gay clergy in order to put a face on their "those people" comments from the arch conservatives. Everybody thought I was "brave". I said NO, it wasn't brave, it was a matter of Fatih__that God had made me this way and I was giving thanks for that.

Unknown said...

Glorious News! And those of us with ears to hear will hear it....those who do not will miss out on the continued blessings of Pentecost!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

This piece of news was reported on Virtueonline a couple of days ago. Yesterday it was gone. Strange ways...