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Swedish pastor cited after family burial

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 12 Sep 2009, 10:34

Published: 12 Sep 2009 10:34 GMT+02:00

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The pastor, who is 83-years-old, now stands accused of breaching church regulations after carrying out the burial service for a man from Skåne in southern Sweden who died last summer.

"There are so many rules and regulations. The problem with the church is that they do not listen. I try to be there for people who seek help and comfort," the pastor said to local newspaper Kvällsposten.

But as the deceased man was not a member of the Church of Sweden the ceremony was a civil service, although it is reported to have been conducted in a religious manner.

A Church of Sweden pastor is, according to existing regulations, permitted to perform the funeral service of a non-member, but permission needs to granted by the local parish and the estate of the deceased must cover the expenses.

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The Lund cathedral chapter will now consider whether these criteria have been met and are expected to rule on the case in October.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:30 September 12, 2009 by Keith #5083
Oh ye of little faith!

What's the point of joining a club if you can't follow the motto:

'Love your neighbour as yourself'

So much for Christian Charity in that system!
17:54 September 12, 2009 by Leprehcaun
@ Keith

Well the problem here isn't that he performed the ceremony like this journalist has made it sound like. He (the priest) is "permitted to perform the funeral service of a non-member" but the problem is that "the estate of the deceased must cover the expenses". We, the members, are the ones who will pay for this ceremony and that is what this is about. Why hasn't the family paid for this? So disrespectful..

You are right though, destroy religion! Possible exceptions: buddhism and taoism and those kinds of religions.
20:00 September 12, 2009 by Harding00
Destroy religions, you say...can't say I disagree with you on that one. But even Buddhism and Taoism (I used to be a Taoist) are based on zero evidence, like all other religions. All religions promote believing in things that there is no proof for. Anyway, I will stop here, since this has nothing to do with the article.
20:21 September 12, 2009 by Keith #5083
@ Leprechaun

Do you mean they did not pay the church for the retired pastor's services, for the use of the church, for the (presumed) organist? Or do you mean they have not paid the 'begravnings bureau" ?.

If the former, then my original comments still apply. Where is the Christian Charity - to the deceased irrespective of the reactions of the deceased's family?

Or do you mean that no 'inkasso' agency will collect the money for the begravnings bureau?

There is no reason, I presume, in principle, that the members of the Church cannot also send this to inkasso if they have sustained an actual charge for, for example, the gravedigging.

It is regrettable that the established church in the West, of which I was a very active member for 25 years, sees fit to charge a fee for weddings,funerals, etc.

Oh ye of little faith. It always seemed that when you were about the Lord's work, the Master always supplied your needs.
08:28 September 13, 2009 by Leprehcaun
I don't understand how that can matter. Either way I don't want to pay for his funeral when I'm not supposed to. "sees fit to charge a fee for weddings,funerals".. well this isn't a state secret really but I'll share it with you. Someone has to pay for it, it isn't free. It sounds bad but there is a reason that the church only pays for members. The members pay taxes to the church, that's how they pay for their funerals. Now how can you consider it to be fair that only those who want to pay for their funeral pays for it, cause you're saying that you shouldn't pay for it even if you're not a paying member which would mean that anyone can leave the church knowing that they will still get the same treatment as members.

It's like working black, not paying taxes and demanding health care and police protection. It sounds bad that they have no right to claim that but they aren't members for the reason to pay lower taxes, they don't want to pay for this and think that others should do it instead. How can you defend them? Christian charity my ass, this is all just greed.

@ Harding

Well that criteria fits all religions but those two are at least peaceful, it's very rare that they corrupt people, unlike e.g. Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Some people need their beliefs to handle the bad things that happens. The only religious person I know's son died when he was 6, I think that's why she is religious. A humorous and sad contradiction.
09:39 September 13, 2009 by Random Guy


these guys did not get paid & they did even more.....

sorry - I forgot the Swedish church does not use the Bible!
09:46 September 13, 2009 by Keith #5083

I totally agree with you. Your criteria are very clear. If the church were a business, or club, or cooperative your criteria would apply. That it is none of these things is exactly my point.

Viewing in a strictly 'business accountancy'' way there could be a an argument that the Church should provide for deceased such as this one, since the church (until quite recently) has been receiving taxes from ALL the population even if they did not wish to contribute! It just may be that 'non-active-members' (since most have had confirmation) may feel it a little unjust that so much of their tax money was used in this way.

So, send a faktura to the relatives. Stop pretending that you are anything but a business.

Just, perhaps, if the church had been serving society instead of expecting society to serve it, perhaps it would not be facing the problems it faces today. I totally agree with you when you say 'christian charity my ****, this is all just greed'.
15:27 September 13, 2009 by joe90
hi.does that mean if you are a member of a church. 1.part of your taxable income goes to the church. or that as in the uk when i was a member of a church and i gave £1000 pound say the goverment would give back another 24% so making it £1240

i think the British way is better because unlike in sweden until very recently i see you can opt in or opt out of paying a percentage of your tax to the state church. and as i did cotribute to your local church

the 24% i mentioned may be the wrong figure but it is near
23:19 September 13, 2009 by I Love it when ...
aren't many people in sweden atheist or something.
18:08 September 14, 2009 by grantike
church members by name and registers only,i hadly hear people go to church here in a country where secularization has taken over.
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