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Archbishop: Luther Foundation leaving church

Archbishop Kari Mäkinen has told YLE that he hopes the conservative Luther foundation will form its own religious congregation outside Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Mäkinen said that he believes the splinter movement has in practice broken with the national church.

Arkkipiispa Kari Mäkinen
Arkkipiispa Kari Mäkinen Image: Yle

“If they have chosen so-called bishops for themselves, they have clearly broken free from the church’s operations,” said Mäkinen. “It would be clear to me that the leadership have made their own decisions on the matter and they are establishing their own religious congregation. At the moment it looks like that would be the best solution.”

The foundation opposes the ordination of women priests, and has ordained its own priests and ministers outside the auspices of Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. It has 26 congregations across Finland.

Mäkinen said that movements opposed to women’s ordination could operate within the church, but they could not prohibit members from co-operating with women priests.

“There should be space within the church for the standpoint that ordination of women is not possible,” said the archbishop. “But that cannot justify a prohibition on co-operation, or belittle or discriminate against anyone.”

Mäkinen expressed the hope that differences between the church and revivalist and conservative movements can be resolved through discussion rather than departures from the church.

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