Denmark: No same-sex marriage, blessing only

The discussion about the churches' role in same-sex marriages or registrations of partnership is rampant in Denmark, as in so many other countries.
The Government minister for ecclesiastical affairs created a board of experts, that was to look into the matter. The experts in question are pastors, bishops and others that are active in the Church of Denmark.
According to the church newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad, the board has not been able to agree on much; same-sex relationships cannot be called ”marriages”, but a ceremony for the blessing of registered partnerships must be developed in future.
The political opposition is disappointed that the board doesn't suggest a proper marriage ceremony. So am I.
Forslag om kirkeritual skuffer politikere (Kristeligt Dagblad 16.9.10)
Inga äktenskap för danska homosexuella (Kyrkans Tidning 16.9.10)

Finland's first woman bishop consecrated under boycott

The first Finnish woman to become a Lutheran bishop was Tuulikki Koivunen Bylund, who was consecrated Bishop of Härnösand in Sweden in November last year (as I noted at the time).
Now, the first woman has become bishop in the ELCF. Irja Askola has succeeded Eero Huovinen as Bishop of Helsinki, and will be consecrated by our new Archbishop Kari Mäkinen in the Cathedral of Helsinki next Sunday, 12 September. As usual, the Archbishop is assisted by domestic and foreign dignitaries. Representatives from at least Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Namibia, England, and Ireland will be present in different roles.
Not all who are invited will attend, however. The Lutheran churches of Latvia and Ingria (in present-day Russia) have declined, apparently because of Askola's gender. Neither church ordains women; the Ingrians never have and the Latvians have stopped doing so.
Neither church admits to this being the reason, though. In Latvia, preparations for a synod in December apparently demand such an effort that no-one can be sent to Finland for a Sunday in September. That will surely be quite a synod! The Bishop of Ingria simply declined without giving a reason, which naturally is more honest than the Latvians' pretext.
Another ecumenical problem concerns the Church of England. Suffragan Bishop David Hamid, who will represent the CofE in Helsinki, cannot participate in blessing Askola with laying on of hands, since the CofE is still struggling with the decision whether to consecrate female bishops or not. Hamid will have other roles during the service, however.
The CofE will, apparently, not accept pastors ordained by Askola as priests in England, in accordance with the Porvoo Agreement. Lutheran pastors (such as I) that are ordained by male bishops are fully accepted in the Anglican churches of the Porvoo Communion (and vice versa, of course), but women bishops will pose a problem.
Which seems weird to me - but then, I'm not Anglican...
Kaksi kirkkoa ei lähetä edustajaa Askolan vihkimykseen (Kotimaa 3.9.10)
Kotimaa: Osa kutsutuista ei tule naispiispan vihkimykseen (Helsingin Sanomat 3.9.10)
Utländska kyrkor bojkottar biskopsvigning (Hufvudstadsbladet 3.9.10)
Kyrkor bojkottar biskopsvigning (Dagen 3.9.10)