Church of Sweden rocked by sex scandals

The Church of Sweden has already been shaken by several sex scandals this year. Archbishop Anders Wejryd regrets the incidents, and maintains that transparency is the best policy.

In April, the diocese boards in Stockholm, Växjö and Lund had to address several sex-related incidents, including a priest who slept with a grieving widow, another who maintained an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old and a third who hurled abuse at women on an internet dating site.

Wejryd regrets that the incidents occurred, but says it is positive the Church dealt with them.

“It is tragic, but I think that we have been successful in our ambition to get people to file reports,” Wejryd told news agency TT.

According to the archbishop, one of the Church’s most widely distributed brochures provides the contact information for where to report sexual assault.

“It is available at churches and in parish offices. We don’t want to foster a culture of silence. We want to require priests to take responsibility for their actions.”

Wejryd said he fully understood the media attention surrounding priests and sex?

“The combination of sex and an institution associated with morals is irresistible.”

A review of sexual assault reports filed against priests and deacons in the last several years shows that there have been a number of cases every year involving everything from porn-surfing priests to sexual harassment.

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