Vicar refused homosexual burial

A vicar in N. Jutland refused to bury a 74-year-old lesbian woman.

News in English

A Northern Jutland daughter was stunned but had to accept a decision by a Lutheran vicar in North Jutland, who refused to bury her 74-year-old mother because she had lived in a lesbian relationship.

“I thought – can this really be possible that we have to be ashamed? I looked at my mother’s partner and she was silent. I was upset for her. What a terrible situation to put her in,” Kirsten Østergaard told DR1.

The mother’s partner was 80 years old and the couple had lived in a registered partnership for some 20 years.

The Aalborg diocese vicar has since – following a family complaint to the diocesan dean - regretted his decision.

“I made an exceptional mistake. The biggest mistake I have ever made in my time as a vicar. It was a gaffe and short-circuit of dimensions and completely against what I believe in,” the vicar says.

His decision, he says, was made because as he did not want to marry homosexuals, he thought it was perhaps wrong to bury homosexual people.

“But it was a completely wrong conclusion. I have asked for forgiveness, initially from two of the family,” the vicar tells DR.

The apology, however, is not one that Kirsten Østergaard values much.

“What use is that to me? This is about his views about humanity, and I don’t think those have changed. He has probably regretted it, but not because of us – rather because he has put himself in a very bad light,” Østergaard tells DR.

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Edited by Julian Isherwood

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