Voices from Russia

Friday, 11 June 2010

Finnish Catholics Regret the Election of a Woman as a Bishop in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK)

Rev Irja Askola (1952- ), Bishopess-elect of Helsinki of the SELK

The Catholic Church of Finland expressed regret that the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) elected a woman as a bishop. On Friday, Catholic Bishop Teemu Sippo said that the election of a female bishop further alienated Finnish church communities from each other, as reported by Komsomolskaya Pravda. For Finland, this is a new thing… it was the first time in history that a female bishop was elected by the SELK, however, Bishop Sippo objected that the installation of a female in the SELK hierarchy is a break with church traditions. A week ago, the SELK elected 58-year-old Irja Askola, the Secretary of the Diocese of Espoo, who assisted the bishop in theological matters, as Bishop of Helsinki. She shall be ordained in September. Bishopess (Епископесса) Irja will lead the second-largest of the nine dioceses of the SELK. The diocese includes 40 parishes and 534,000 parishioners.

11 June 2010



Editor’s Note:

The Boy Wonder has had another Evangelical hot potato land in his lap. Frau Käßman may be gone, but now he has to deal with this new bishopess in Finland. A further wrinkle complicates matters. Of the 60,000 Orthodox in Finland, 2,000 are under the MP, whilst 58,000 are in one of the most modernist autonomous Churches around, under the EP (this group was one of the few outside N America that gave unqualified support to the OCA cabal). What if the EP Finns hobnob with the bishopess, but the MP does not? YOUCH! I’ll betcha that SVS will just beam if the EP Finns do so. Yustinian will come and give JP his marching orders… that’ll put the Surfer Dude in a pickle. Moscow shall demand that he walk the line… as the OCA is a canonical dependency of the MP in all but name, JP will have a dilemma. Shall he support the extreme Renovationist faction at SVS, and risk termination by the Centre, or, shall he follow orders, and slit the throats of his erstwhile supporters? KMG is feeling his oats… he made Bart eat Crow Supreme a la Royale in public and smile. Do you think that a pipsqueak provincial peasant like JP the Surfer Dude is going to give him pause? I wouldn’t oppose His Nibs if I were you, Paffhausen… he ripped Bart a new one, in full view of the unwashed, no less. He won’t hesitate to deep-six you…

FYI, there are seven RC parishes in Finland (two in Helsinki, and one each in Turku, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Kouvola, and Oulu), with 9,000 communicants (majority foreigners, mostly Poles), with three convents (two Bridgettine and one Carmelite).

By the way, I use “Evangelical” in its proper European sense… that is, “Lutheran”. The American dialectical usage of “Evangelical” to denote Radical Proddies is patently false, and we should not use it. If they do, so be it… we’re not PC hooligans. However, let’s keep our own writing on the straight and narrow… to use the term “Evangelical” for the spiritual descendants of John of Leyden and the extreme Anabaptists is an abuse of language!


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