Decisions like these have unexpected consequences. The first wave of Sharia Islamists are within their rights to take the lesbian bishop and throw her off the steeple. After all, in their eyes she is an infidel, a woman speaking in public and a homosexual, all crimes that are deserving of death to them.
The church targeted is the Seamen’s mission church in Stockholm’s eastern dockyards. The Bishop held a meeting there and challenged the priest to explain what he’d do if a ship’s crew came into port who weren’t Christian, but wanted to pray.
Calling Muslims guests to the church “angels.” the Bishop later took to her blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do anything less would make one “Stingy towards people of other faiths.”
The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed. Regardless, the announcement has aroused protest.
Father Patrik Pettersson, one of the priests in her diocese and active in the same parish as the Seaman’s mission church hit back in a blog of his own, complaining there is no way you could equate a consecrated church with a prayer room, remarking “I should have thought a bishop would be able to tell the difference”.
Calling the bishop’s words “theologically unthinking”, he asked what was to be done with crucifixes screwed to the walls, and heavy items such as baptismal fonts.
“Ignoring the rhetorical murmuring”, Pettersson wrote: “The only argument bishop Eva really put forward in support of her view is ‘hospitality’… How do you respond to that? Not much of a basis for discussion, as one colleague put it. The theological, ecclesiological, pastoral and working issues are left untouched”.
As an independent mission the church operates outside of the diocese, and so the bishop has no authority there, a fact reflected by the response of the church director who said the bishop’s words were her business alone.
When asked whether she would be removing the cross from her church, Kiki Wetterberg responded: “I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there”.
The upper echelons of the Church of Sweden, much like other national churches across Europe, seem to be fully invested in the diversity mission. A parish church in multicultural paradise Malmö declared it would be holding a service in solidarity with the local Muslim community as a protest against a march by anti-Islamisation movement PEGIDA in the city.
The priest responsible told media: “During the protest, the Swedish Church is going to hold a service where we express joy for our city and our Muslim friends.
“There is strong support for diverse cultures in Malmö and it is important that the church is there to support that”.
Malmö is Sweden’s gateway to Europe, and is the main point of ingress to the Nordic nations for the thousands of migrants travelling through Europe from Africa and the East who have decided to make it home.