Pastor gets warning for abortion video

Just over a year ago, pastor Halvar Sandell from Helsinki wanted to refuse me the Lord's Supper because of my views on homosexuality (some media report that he actually did refuse me, but that is incorrect). He had no right to do this, of course, so in the end our bishop, Gustav Björkstrand, gave him a warning.
Sandell's been at it again in June this year. This time he's in trouble for showing an authentic abortion video to his confirmation pupils, aged about 15 years. Their parents were in an uproar about this and reported him to the Parish Council, which refused to do anything. The parents also sent a copy to the Bishop, who consulted the governmental motion pictures board, and after receiving their report gave Sandell another warning.
The problem was not that Sandell is a hard core anti-abortionist ("pro-life", as it is sometimes euphemistically called); that is his right. He had discussed abortion in class, which also is his right (and perhaps even his duty). The problem was that, having failed to convince the teenagers, he showed them a detailed and bloody video showing an abortion (performed with a method not used in Finland). He had downloaded the video from the Internet. This shocking video, showing close-ups of a dismembered foetus, was too strong for the teenagers, according to the board, and could hurt the development of 14-15-year-olds if shown to them.
A positive note in all this is that Sandell has apologized for his excessive zeal.
Warnings of the kind Sandell seems to be collecting do not, as such, lead to anything worse. If someone is given several warnings for similar offences, however, they can be construed as aggravating factors if the offence is repeated yet again.
In other words, if Sandell keeps his nose clean, this might be the end of it. If not, well...
Disciplinärt förfarande i församlingen 4 (Kalles kyrkliga kommentarer 18.7.06)
Ingen sakramental gemenskap? (Kalles kyrkliga kommentarer 3.9.07)
Sandell i farten igen (Kalles kyrkliga kommentarer 19.6.08)
Biskopen gav kaplan Sandell skriftlig anmärkning (Kyrklig tidningstjänst 4.9.08)
Sandell får skriftlig anmärkning (YLE 4.9.08)
Sandell får skriftlig anmärkning (Kyrkpressen 4.9.08)
Sandell får skriftlig anmärkning (Hufvudstadsbladet 4.9.08)
Halvar Sandell får skriftlig anmärkning för abortvideo (Vasabladet 4.9.08)
Aborttifilmin rippileirillä näyttänyt pappi sai huomautuksen piispalta (Helsingin Sanomat 4.9.08)
Präst klandras för abortfilm (Sydsvenskan 4.9.08)
Visade abortfilm för unga och kritiseras (Kyrkans Tidning 5.9.08)
Präst prickas för abortfilm (Dagen 5.9.08)

1 comment:

Kindergartenteacher, TK said...

I am glad these parents had the courage to stand up for their children. Thank you for the report. I am against abortions, and convinced that we as adults, have to protect our children when they are 14-5 years old too. If we can...