Priest Demands Bishop of Iceland’s Resignation Skip to content

Priest Demands Bishop of Iceland’s Resignation

Rev. Sigrídur Gudmarsdóttir, who serves as minister in Grafarholtsprestakall, released a statement yesterday saying Bishop of Iceland Karl Sigurbjörnsson should resign following the conclusion of the report of the National Church’s Investigation Commission, which covers sexual offenses and the reaction to them within the church.

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An Icelandic church. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

She reasoned that the bishop should demonstrate that he has the church’s interests at heart by stepping down, Morgunbladid reports.

“The Bishop of Iceland should recognize that it will serve the church better if someone else is to take over his duties. The longer he remains in office, the more damage it will cause the church,” the statement reads.

The leadership of the Church Convention, which opened yesterday, has declared full support for the bishop and no one else has called for his resignation.

The report concluded that Sigurbjörnsson had made a mistake when three women accusing former late Bishop Ólafur Skúlason of sexual harassment came to him for help.

At the Church Convention yesterday, Sigurbjörnsson said he had not intended to cause anyone harm or hush anything up in relation to accusations of his predecessor’s behavior. In 1996, when this case first surfaced, the National Church was unfit to handle it, he stated.

The bishop said that he was sorry for how he reacted in this case and that he has apologized to the women who accused Skúlason of sexual harassment, both personally and on behalf of the National Church.

The Church Convention decided yesterday to follow up on the report’s publication by appointing a five-person committee from within its ranks to determine how the reaction to its findings should be.

At the convention victims of sex crimes who have been mistreated by employees of the church and its key institutions were given an apology. Various improvements in relation to reaction to such cases and other aspects within the church were called for.

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