Saturday, September 1, 2007

Theory busted

In Toronto, there is a parish called the the Swedish Lutheran Church in Toronto. I had been under the impression that they were dually affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (which is in full communion with the Anglican Church of Canada) and the Church of Sweden (which is in apostolic succession and blesses same sex unions). Can you see where this is going? I thought I had found a loophole. The Swedes not only include rings in their ceremony (unlike New Westminster) but have declared themselves open to allowing the actual wedding to take place in church if same-sex marriage (as opposed to civil unions) is legalised by their government. And in Canada, that's already the case...

But I was wrong. Here is an excerpt from an email I received from the congregation's Pastor Anna Runesson.

"You are correct in your understanding concerning same-gender blessings within the Church of Sweden. However, my position in Canada looks a bit different. I am an ordained pastor for the Church of Sweden, but the Swedish Church in Toronto does not officially belongs to this church. We are an ethnic church within Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCIC). This means that I officially work for ELCIC, which position, as you know, is not the same as the Church of Sweden in this question. I am, therefore, not eligible to perform blessings of same-gender unions in Canada as an employed ELCIC pastor. Personally, I would have preferred the order of the Church of Sweden in this matter."

Oh, well. We'll keep trying.

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