Just two weeks after the Swedish Lutheran Church announced its decision to perform same-sex marriages, the denomination elected the Lutheran church’s first openly lesbian bishop. Bishop Eva Brunne was ordained as the bishop of the Stockholm diocese this past Sunday. Bishop Brunne and her partner have one child.
The Swedish Lutheran Church has a history of expansive welcome to gay and lesbian people. In 1990, then Bishop emeritus of the Stockholm diocese Krister Stendahl wrote a letter of support to the members of St. Francis Lutheran Church and First United Lutheran Church as they celebrated the ordinations of openly gay candidates Ruth Frost, Jeff Johnson and Phyllis Zillhart. These ordinations sparked the beginning of the movement leading to the formation of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.
Stendahl wrote, “Since I can’t be with you at your ordination which, it seems, must take place extra ordinem, I want to send you a greeting affirming my conviction that the steps that your congregations and you are taking stand well before God.”