Wednesday, February 16

Folke T. Olofsson, who has watched the decline of the Church of Sweden says that he can't take anymore -- but he doesn't know what to do. (He sees the decline of the Swedish Church as rooted in feminism. I disagree and contend that the problem is radical secularism and the type of feminism that goes with such a philosophy is but one expression of the greater problem. And this isn't just a Swedish issue. It just happened there sooner than here.) This is an excerpt from his extended account -- A Grief Observed -- On Being a Priest in a Dying Church:

Since my fifteenth year, the year of my baptism, I have been a communicant member of the Church of Sweden. I have gone to communion regularly for forty-five years in what I thought was the real church. During these years I have at the inside lived with and through all the changes that have taken place, I have seen them being prepared, I have heard the arguments, listened to the debates, seen the campaigns, encountered the propaganda, the threats, the intimidations, the promises, the deceits, the lies, the marginalization and the elimination. I have seen how the church has changed, how is has been occupied and been taken over from the outside and the inside. I have seen all the small steps leading to where the Church Sweden is now. And I have not been able to stop it. Together with many others I have been in the burning oven. And I have had enough. "You have lost", as an English friend and prominent member of the Church of England said to me over the lunch table at a fashionable fish restaurant in London in December last year.

Am I depressed or even dejected? Yes. Am I overweight due to inertia, lack of exercise and comfort eating? Yes. Is my blood pressure too high. Yes. Am I sick and tired of being a priest (as I who have Catholic preferences would say) or pastor (as others of a more Protestant turn of mind rather would have it) in a church, which may no longer be a real church, infiltrated and occupied as it is by leftist church politicians and liberal revisionists. Yes! And adding up to that, I am also pushing sixty, which means that I am out anyway. But, on the other hand, as Polycarp said about the mob at the stadium in Smyrna responding to the Proconsul who, would release him, if he swore by the genius of the Caesar: "Away with the atheists!" and "Eighty and six years have I served him [Christ], and he hath done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?" Individuals may waver, battles may be lost, but in the company of such cobelligerents the war is not lost. Or as Kaj Munk, the Danish Lutheran pastor, slain by the Nazis, said: "Kill us on Good Friday, and we shall rise on Easter Day!"

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