Do you believe or not believe – that is the question. At least for the
state-run Lutheran Parish Council of Mejdal in the diocese of Viborg in
As the first parish ever in the country, Mejdal is advertising for a new vicar
to take care of the religious welfare of its congregation – but the job
advertisement makes it clear, the congregation wants someone who actually
believes in God, according to Kristeligt Dagblad.
The Parish Council is apparently worried that it may run into the same
problems caused by Vicar Thorkild Grosbøll in the Copenhagen suburb of
Taarbæk who caused a flurry of controversy in 2003 after stating stated that
he did not believe in a creator and interventionist God.
“We have written (Ed: that we want a believer) to underscore that we want a
priest who is a believer,” Mejdal Parish Council Chairman Karl Georg
Pedersen tells Kristeligt Dagblad.
“It should be obvious, but we’re not at all that sure that it is. The Grosbøll
case still haunts us and there are different attitudes among priests to
Christianity and the gospels,” he adds.
The council’s prerequisite was included following a questionnaire distributed
to the local congregation asking them what they wanted in a new priest.
Denmark’s National Vicars’ Union, however, isn’t too pleased with the idea.
“There is a major problem in measuring people’s beliefs and excluding them.
This could easily turn into a form of control. Who is to decide whether a
priest has the right belief?” asks union Chairman Per Bucholdt Andreasen.
“A priest should of course keep within the church’s creed, but it’s a question
of theological attitudes. I can imagine there are priests who would not
apply because it transcends their understanding of how people talk about
things,” Bucholdt Andreasen says.
Social Liberal Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Manu Sareen says he also
finds the Parish Council’s actions strange, saying he hopes that ‘the
wording (of the ad) is something that the Parish Council hasn’t thought
FACEBOOK – Follow
Politiken’s News in English