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Defrocked pastor sues Christian dating site

TT/Paul O'Mahony · 4 Aug 2009, 17:15

Published: 04 Aug 2009 17:15 GMT+02:00

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The operators of the 7EHimlen ("Seventh Heaven") site kept copies of the pastor's online comments and passed them on to his superiors at the cathedral chapter in Växjö in southern Sweden. The ensuing scandal led to a hearing in which the clergyman lost the right to perform religious services.

But the Swedish Data Inspection Board called the site to task for an alleged breach of the country's Personal Data Act. And the pastor, now pensioned, is suing 7EHimlen for 370,000 kronor ($52,000) for loss of income and a violation of his right to privacy, according to local media reports.

The pastor, who had been drinking at the time, said in April that he deeply regretted his online outburst.

"You look like a bearded lady," was one of the more offensive comments made to women with whom he was chatting on the Christian dating site.

"You look really drab and dreary. You probably have to pay for sex," the elderly pastor said to another, according to local newspaper Smålandsposten.

Story continues below…

Simon Widén, one of the owners of the contact site, explained that he had reported the pastor because he was upset by his comments.

"Maybe it was legally wrong but morally I feel I have done the right thing," he told Smålandsposten after the Data Inspection Board had criticised the site's actions in April.

TT/Paul O'Mahony (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:36 August 4, 2009 by eZee.se
Perhaps this pastor should look into a new career as a rude comic...

I do hope he wins his lawsuit though, because when a person comments on a site you have a general feeling of security and privacy that the site has a responsibility to uphold, and his was violated.

Although i dont agree with his comments, check out nearly any popular video on y0utub e and you'll see loads of insults back and forth, much worse than what he got in trouble for.
23:43 August 4, 2009 by Dimas
A pastor must play his role as a pastor in any condition if u are pastor drunk and can not control urself then what 's ur abilty of beening a pastor? good pastor u'v done well.
00:36 August 5, 2009 by eZee.se
Last i checked, pastors were human... and as a human he has the tendency to screw up, and this was not a very bad screw up thats unforgivable... like diddling kids for example - thats unforgivable.
13:50 August 5, 2009 by Dick Swinger
I hate an unfair dismissal case. Did anyone bother to check if he was just being honest?
16:45 August 7, 2009 by aairon
Maybe the lady did have a lot of facial hair, and perhaps the other was so dreary looking that she did indeed have to "pay for sex" LMAO. They should have spent more time focused on hooking up the bearded lady with the dreary one, so they could have a date. Really the site operator had no business reporting the guy to his bosses, that is PUNK!
20:47 September 24, 2009 by mumble914
Come on guys a Pastor is human, but is supposed to be an example for us all. If in such an inane instance this guy fell into it, then there should be some consequence. Not sure if legal or not... but something!

[url=http://www.simple-relationship-advice.com/senior-dating-services.html]Senior Dating Services[/url]
02:15 October 3, 2009 by BlueBoden
This so called "pastor" has no right to sue the site. He is in a position where he can't expect to get the sort of "privacy" that other people get.

If he wins, it would just show how curropt and careless the system is, not to mention futher expose him as the wolf, that he so far continiues to behave like. Hopefully he comes to his senses.

This is a matter between the Pastor and his superiors. The "Swedish Data Inspection Board" has no business in this matter, because they are not qualified to protect the Pastor, win or loss, it would still be a loss for the Pastor, because he relied on invalid excuses, and sued ageinst his right.

You can't have a Pastor who behaves like that, he should know his responsability. Finally his education should have thought him not to get drunk in the first place, so using it as an excuse is not valid when being in his position, it would not be valid before god, and it should not be valid before the justice system.

Drunk or not, his actions has totally disqualified him as a pastor. He should really just accept his defeat and move on, otherwhise his later sin will just be grather then his first.
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