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.
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.
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)