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The General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland will next convene in Turku on 6–9 November, 2018.
The General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland will next convene in Turku on 6–9 November, 2018.

 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has decided not to start performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The General Synod, the highest decision-making body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, instead decided last week to ask the bishops’ conference to explore options for resolving the internal disagreement over the notion of marriage.

The vote fell 59–46 in favour of rejecting a proposal submitted by Björn Vikstrom, the Bishop of Porvoo, to also explore the possibility of expanding the notion of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The General Synod, however, took what has been labelled as a timeout by approving the proposal of Arto Antturi, the rector of the Pitäjänmäki Parish. He proposed that the bishops’ conference promote a respectful debate on the matter while exploring other options to resolve the disagreement.

“What’s important is that this may be a way to move forward on this matter,” Aulikki Mäkinen, the rector of the Kuopio Parish, commented to Helsingin Sanomat. “I was positively surprised that such a large group agreed that we have to find some kind of a solution because the issue won’t disappear from the agenda.”

A total of 73 statements were head during the course of the three-day debate leading up to the vote that was taken in Turku on 18 May.

Same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Finland since 1 March, 2017.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Lehto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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