by Larry Beane
Just nine days after the (Lutheran) Church of Finland elected an archbishop that approves of church blessings of same-sex couples, faithful Lutherans in Finland who believe in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions now have a confessional and faithful bishop, the 75-year old Matti Väisänen.
Bishop Arne Olsson of Sweden's Mission Province consecrated Bishop Väisänen this past Saturday (March 20), and Sabre of Boldness recipient (2006) Bishop Walter Obare of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya preached the sermon. The newly-consecrated bishop studied at Concordia Theological Seminary from 1961 to 1963. And thanks to his consecration at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Helsinki, faithful Finnish candidates for the office of the holy ministry will be able to be ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood for the first time since 2001.
In the photo above, Sabre of Boldness recipient (2009) Fr. Juhana Pohjola, is standing right behind the bishop's crosier (the third man from the right). In the photo below, Bp. Obare gives Bp. Väisänen a blessing. Fr. Pohjola is the first man from the left.
Thanks be to God for the courageous work of the faithful pastors and laity in Scandinavia, who serve Christ and the Gospel in spite of the fiery darts of the evil one. Let us keep these brothers and sisters in Christ in our prayers, even as their example inspires us and stirs us to faithful service of our Lord and His Church.
For more information and photos, see Dr. Chris Barnekov's outstanding article here at the Scandinavia House website.