Last Saturday, September 17, three new pastors were ordained by the Foundation's bishop Matti Väisänen (see blogs here and here) in the Orthodox parish hall in Kuopio (eastern Finland). The ELCF had denied them any venue for the ordination, so they turned to the Orthodox Church. Its leading bishop, Ambrosius, asked the Orthodox parish of Kuopio to refrain from giving space to a schismatic group in the Lutheran church, but went unheeded.
Two of the new pastors will work in eastern Finland, and the third, Sebastian Grünbaum, will build and coordinate a Swedish-speaking community in Turku in the south-west. Grünbaum has studied theology in Swedish at Åbo Akademi in Turku, where there are several strongly conservative students and teachers (among a moderate majority, I hasten to add). The Luther Foundation will thus probably reap more fruit from that Theological Faculty.
The Luther Foundation protests against female pastors and against the increasingly positive and humane attitudes towards sexual minorities within the ELCF. It is akin to the Mission Province in Sweden and has for some years ordained its own pastors. In 2010, it consecrated its own bishop. These acts are, of course, schismatic, and neither the bishop nor the pastors have any standing within the ELCF. The Foundation refuses, however, to take the logical step and form its own denomination, which would allow it to build ecumenical relations to other churches, e.g. the ELCF. Since it repeatedly breaks the rules of the ELCF, it can go on pretending that it is persecuted, which I suppose gives its members a sense of righteousness.
But I don't feel that it is quite honest to do so.
Kotimaa om Nokia och Luther (Kalles kyrkliga kommentarer 16.10.06)
Missionsprovinsen till Finland? (Kalles kyrkliga kommentarer 4.12.06)
Förfalskade präster (Kalles kyrkliga kommentarer 26.1.07)
Yle: Ortodoksit tarjoavat Luther-säätiölle tiloja pappisvihkimykseen (Kotimaa 10.8.11)
Ambrosius toivoo Kuopion ortodoksisen seurakunnan peruvan Luther-säätiö-päätöksen (Kotimaa 10.8.11)
Pappisvihkimys Kuopiossa 17.9.2011 (Suomen Luther-säätiö 30.8.11)
Lutherstiftelsen får svenskspråkig verksamhet (Kyrkpressen 5.9.11)
Konservativa ÅA-teologer stöder Lutherstiftelsen (Hufvudstadsbladet 7.9.11)
Luther-säätiö vihkii ”kolme uutta pastoria” (Kotimaa 8.9.11)
Lutherstiftelsen vigde tre nya egna präster (Hufvudstadsbladet 17.9.11)
Luther-säätiö vihkii yhä pappeja kirkon vastustuksesta huolimatta (Helsingin Sanomat 17.9.11)
Paarma ennustaa: Luther-säätiö lähtee kirkosta (Ilkka 18.9.11)
Ilkka: Paarma ennustaa Luther-säätiön lähtöä (Kotimaa 18.9.11)