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First Swedish Female Lutheran Bishop Named

Christina Odenberg officially became Sweden’s first Lutheran Bishop on Sunday, six months after being elected by the Lund diocese, a diocese where 36% of vicars are women. The ceremony was attended by notable women such as Barbara Harris, the first female American Episcopalian bishop, Marita Ulvsko, Sweden’s minister of cultural and religious affairs, and Birgitta Dahl, parliament’s speaker. Every Protestant church in Scandanavia was represented at the ceremony, but the Roman Catholic church, which disapproves of ordaining women, was absent. A supporter of women’s roles in the church, Lutheran Archbishop Kg Hammar said “The fact that they have the backing of the clergy fills me with confidence for the future.” Parliament voted last year to completely separate church and state by the year 2000, which will make it a fully secular state.

Sources:

AFP - October 5, 1997