• Sweden edition
Pastor disciplined over village rape case

Pastor disciplined over village rape case

Published: 11 Jun 2010 07:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jun 2010 07:23 GMT+02:00

The Church of Sweden pastor who welcomed a 15-year-old convicted rapist to the end of term celebrations in a high profile incident in Bjästa in northern Sweden, has been issued with a written caution by the diocese of Harnösand.

Lennart Kempe, who leapt to national attention after comments made in a Sveriges Television (SVT) documentary covering the story of a 14-year-old girl from a small Swedish community who was raped at her school only to be rejected by her friends and adult society when she reported the attack, has thus been cleared to continue working as a pastor.

The Uppdrag Granskning documentary aired in March and gained massive attention in Sweden, even drawing comments from prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

A storm of public outrage met the revelations that the 14-year-old girl from the small Swedish community was raped at her school only to be rejected by her friends and adult society when she reported the attack.

After news of the rape and the police report emerged, a campaign began which divided the community - with many of the girl's and boy's friends, school teachers, and parents questioning the validity of the girl's story.

Despite having admitted the offence, the 15-year-old boy was welcomed back in a vocal public demonstration held at an end of term awards ceremony in the local church that his victim had not felt able to attend.

Later that day Oskar joined up with his classmates to celebrate the end of term. During the evening the boy then carried out a second rape, of a 17-year-old girl.

Lennart Kempe explained in the programme his decision to welcome the boy.

"The church is open for all. There was an enormous demonstration. He had flowers with him... I thought it very courageous of him to have the strength to come here and do that," Kempe told SVT.

He later expressed regret over his comments.

A written caution is the mildest sanction available within the Church of Sweden disciplinary code.

in a statement explaining its decision the cathedral chapter said:

"Despite Lennart Kempe explanation of his statements and their background they clearly come across as naive and without forethought. His statements may be perceived to have a one-sided focus on the offender and display no compassion for the victim."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:13 June 11, 2010 by Keith #5083
It is to be hoped that this pastor can now reflect upon the balance between forgiveness, repentance and acceptance.

Since he was clearly not alone in 'railroading the victim' it could be a positive action to seek a 'service of reconciliation' where the local community and pastor seek the forgiveness of the young victim, though if I was her I would be somewhat

hesitant about offering it. Perhaps also 'tithing' his obviously undeserved salary to a 'Rape help charity' might be a meaningful expression.

No wonder she and her family needed to move away and 'kick the dust off their feet'.
09:57 June 11, 2010 by Nemesis
He behaved like religeous people in most countries. They blame the victim and the persecute the victim.

If the church actually had any decency in it, they would have fired him immediately and openly condemend those who persecuted that girl.
10:56 June 11, 2010 by Earandur Lissesul
Makes me glad I'm a Pagan.
14:12 June 11, 2010 by RoyceD
organised religion turns blind eye to rape case.... old news really.
15:50 June 11, 2010 by dau tieng 59
Maybe they should have another party so the young mn could jump another girl. The story states that he raped a 17 year old after the end of term celebration. Being made a hero in the town mearly tells him he's doing alright. Isn't rape against the law in Sweden? Why is he still on the outside.
16:50 June 11, 2010 by ironman294
"The church is open for all. There was an enormous demonstration. He had flowers with him... I thought it very courageous of him to have the strength to come here and do that," Kempe told SVT.

Such garbage being a pastor in sweden is meaningless its a desk job really they dont preach about Jesus I bet.

I don't know how a supposedly evolved and liberal society has such chauvanistic and outdated view of women?

Please explain it to me, this kid if not punished for a long time or even stay in jail forever, will eventually become and even bigger serial rapist and eventually a murderer. Shame on the town and the pastor and police they should all be sued by the two victims and the town shunned by the whole country.

Shame on that town and sweden
17:12 June 11, 2010 by wenddiver
Multi-tasking Pastor/Village idiot.
18:45 June 11, 2010 by Tutu
I dont know what the fuss is all about. The church is open to everyone which includes sinners and saints. If the the guy have commitsted any crime, he must be punished in accordance with dictates of the law. If he had committed the offence in church is another thing. I expect the church to welcome Osama if he comes for a church service. Peter betrayed Jesus but was still put in charge by Jesus. The message of the Jesus is repentance but that does not mean we should not face consequences of our wrong doings. If he is just punished and not given the opportunity to repent, he might re-offence. True repentance brings true change in behaviour.
20:23 June 11, 2010 by tommycapes
i hope that he gets what is coming to him.

He is not capable of serving the church.

I have nothing but the upmost contempt for this do good idiot. If he had true spirit he would of had feeling for the victim and not popular opinion.

I hope he rots in hell because he is not worthy of heaven.

P.s , i am not religious, just a follower of common sense and decency.
00:38 June 12, 2010 by alingsaskev
The Dagen Newspaper rejects an advert for an LGBT summer camp, arguing that Christianity can not condone such disgusting sexual acts whilst, Church of Sweden Pastors invite convicted rapists to a summer ball... Oh and Swedish Radio invites a convicted double Murderer to present its flagship "Sommar" broadcast.... This country is so twisted it makes me cry laughing!
05:07 June 12, 2010 by Tutu
point of correction alingscrew. Dagen nyheter rejected an advert promoting homosexuality not the summer camp. Christian summer camp is to talk and do christianity and not to promote a brand of sexuality. Why do we have to have special camp for homosexuals.
09:57 June 12, 2010 by alingsaskev
@ Tutu, why does there have to be a summer camp for Christians? The world would be an altogether better place if... it were just a summer camp, no lines drawn whatsoever!
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