Bishop of Iceland Karl Sigurbjörnsson recently offered Rev. Gunnar Björnsson that he could maintain his salaries throughout his agreed period of appointment, ISK 20 million (USD 159,000, EUR 100,000), if he resigned from his post in Selfoss immediately.
From Selfoss. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Last year, Rev. Björnsson was found not guilty of sexual harassment against two teenage girls from his congregation by the District Court of South Iceland and the ruling was confirmed by the Supreme Court last March. However, the Selfoss congregation is dissatisfied about Rev. Björnsson continuing as their priest, Fréttabladid reports.
The employment termination agreement is one of four options offered to Rev. Björnsson by the Bishop’s Office. The other options were to take a leave of absence, continue to serve as priest in Selfoss for a limited period of time and to be relocated.
Rev. Björnsson rejected all of these options, which resulted in him being forced to take a position as a special service priest at the Bishop’s Office. Rev. Björnsson and his supporters have protested that arrangement loudly. However, he can still accept one of the aforementioned options and is allegedly considering them.
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