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Finland rejects gay marriage: CEN 2.17.10 p 8. February 25, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Finland, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
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Archbishop Jukka Paarma of Finland

The Bishops of the Church of Finland have rejected gay church marriages.

Following a two-day meeting in Helsinki, on Feb 10 the bishops released a statement saying that formal blessings of same-sex partnerships will not be permitted in the country’s Lutheran state churches.

Pastors may provide pastoral and prayer support for homosexual couples, but may not offer wedding-like ceremonies, the Finnish bishops said.

Last week’s decision was a compromise, Archbishop Jukka Paarma told reporters. A partner of the Church of England through the Porvoo agreements, the Finnish state church had not “taken a clear stand on these matters, but now we have,” the archbishop explained.

Gays may be members of the church, and the church will permit, on a case by case basis, gay clergy to officiate. Clergy may also pray for gay couples using the words of the Finnish prayer book.

However, the prayers may not be taken from the marriage service or nuptial blessing, no exchange of rings or other wedding-like rituals are permitted, and no parish or minister will be obligated to perform the gay-friendly prayers, the archbishop said.

Same-sex blessings have divided the Nordic churches and have led to broken relationships with the orthodox churches of the region. The Church of Sweden last year permitted gay marriage in churches, while the Baltic Lutheran churches—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—have followed the Russian Orthodox Church’s line and declared such innovations as heretical.

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1. Anglican Mainstream South Africa » Blog Archive » Finland rejects gay marriage - March 1, 2010

[…] `George Conger’ `Church of England Newspaper’ The Bishops of the Church of Finland have rejected gay church marriages. Following a two-day meeting in Helsinki, on Feb 10 the bishops released a statement saying that formal blessings of same-sex partnerships will not be permitted in the country’s Lutheran state churches. Pastors may provide pastoral and prayer support for homosexual couples, but may not offer wedding-like ceremonies, the Finnish bishops said. Read more:    https://geoconger.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/finland-rejects-gay-marriage-cen-2-17-10-p-8/ […]


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