Sweden Follows Suit, Elects Jackelen As First Female Archbishop
Antje Jackelen, the latest elected Archbishop for the Lutheran Church of Sweden, will serve at Uppsala cathedral, the ecclesiastical center of Sweden.
Sweden has joined a slew of other countries to recently elect their first female bishop. Ireland, Norway, the U.S., and Germany have all made headlines for appointing women to religious positions of leadership.
A 58-year-old mother of two beat out her rival to become the first woman elected Archbishop for the Lutheran Church of Sweden. Antje Jackelen took in more than 55 percent of the vote, becoming the latest woman in the recent crop of females to be appointed heads of churches in the United States, Norway, Ireland, and Germany.
Jackelen is well-known for her statements questioning the Virgin birth and her endorsement in the theory of evolution. Controversy has surrounded the newest Archbishop-elect regarding her unclear views on faith and comments that it is not contradictory to believe in both evolution and God.
She said perhaps the Virgin birth was more of a metaphor than an actual event, which has made several Swedish clergy angry since it goes against mainstream interpretations.
Jackelen was ordained as a priest in 1980 and became a bishop in 2006. Most of the 324-strong ecclesiastical college backs her up.
She said the Church’s decision to make her an Archbishop doesn’t surprise her because, for 50 years, they’ve tapped females for priests. The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t permit the ordination of women.
Anders Wejryd, the outgoing archbishop, said it was time for a woman to become an Archbishop. Jackelen said her confidence and her being seen throughout the International community will help the church. Wejryd has faith in her confidence, citing that there are female leading bishops found throughout the world.
Jackelen is active on Twitter. She has over 4,000 followers and has written over 2,000 tweets.
She will be sworn into her position as Archbishop in June 2014. Her predecessor, Wejryd, has held the post since 2006.