I suppose most of us are proud of our ancestry. This week, I am especially proud to call myself a Swede upon news that the newly elected Lutheran bishop of Stockholm is a lesbian in a state registered homosexual partnership with another priest. That she is Lutheran is also a source of pride for me, and since my hometown is Upsala, Minnesota, the election of Rev. Eva Brunne from Uppsala, Sweden just makes it all the sweeter.
Episcopalian pastor and blogger Elizabeth Kaeton of Telling Secrets has the details in her post entitled “Another purple shirt with a pink triangle.” Kaeton reports:
Brunne, who is currently the dean of the Stockholm diocese, is the first Church of Sweden bishop to live in a registered homosexual partnership, the Uppsala-headquartered church said, and she is believed to be the first openly lesbian bishop in the world.
Brunne, 55, lives with priest Gunilla Linden in a partnership that has received a church blessing. They have a three-year-old son.
A comment following her post laments the lack of media attention to this breakthrough event compared to the extensive and continued coverage of the election of Eugene Robinson, an openly gay Episcopalian priest, to the bishopric of New Hampshire. Perhaps Europeans are more tolerant than Americans suggests one commentor or perhaps this is an evidence of sexism suggests another.
When the choice is between a story about a handsome Catholic priest who’s been photographed with a woman . . . and a story about two Swedish priests who are living together in a monogamous relationship, you know which one is going to grab all the attention.
As a hetero male, I would like to be counted among those “few good (straight) men” that Kaeton refers to in a separate blog post.
Solidarity is a powerful thing. It can embolden the bold who have become temporarily weary by the struggle.
It speaks a silent but powerful truth to power.
And, I know that those of you – LGBT and straight – who enjoy the sacramental grace of marriage will not know complete sacramental fullness until everyone who is called to stand where you are privileged to stand is allowed to pursue their vocation to marriage and family life.