Rogue Bishop Stripped of Clerical Standing

Lutheran minister Matti Väisänen has been stripped of his clerical standing by the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church for being appointed a "bishop" of the Finnish Luther Foundation. The Foundation's insistence on appointing its own bishop has brought it into direct conflict with the Church.

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Matti Väisänen
Matti VäisänenYLE

Tampere's cathedral chapter issued the decision on Wednesday. Church leaders say that by acting as a Lutheran bishop without the blessing of the Church, Väisänen has violated Church law and acted inappropriately as a minister.

Väisänen has been suspended since April 7th, and the decision to revoke his standing goes into effect immediately. The Luther Foundation created its own bishop's post and ordained Väisänen in March.

The Luther Foundation in Finland is a religious movement that preaches a more literal and traditional interpretation of the scriptures and Lutheran doctrine. It promotes evangelical missionary work, objects to women becoming ministers, and rejects what it considers the corruption of historic liturgy.

The Foundation does not receive funding from the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, but many ministers subscribe to the Foundation’s tenets.

On its website, the Foundation decries the "theological decay of mainline Lutheranism", a stand which has often brought it into conflict with Church leaders.

Lähteet: YLE