Berserker in the Cathedral by William J. Tighe

Berserker in the Cathedral

Gay “Art” Exhibition in Swedish Lutheran Cathedral Provokes Uproar in Press & Recriminations Between Churches

by William J. Tighe

Uppsala Cathedral is the seat of the Lutheran archbishop of Uppsala and primate of the Church of Sweden, the one Protestant church of the Reformation era in addition to the Church of England that can claim with an appearance of plausibility to have preserved the “apostolic succession” of its bishops throughout the tumults of the times. It was also recently the scene of a gay “art” exhibition that has caused a groundswell of controversy in the Swedish press, caused the Vatican to cancel a meeting between the Swedish primate, Karl Gustav Hammar, and the pope (leading Hammar, in turn, to cancel his visit to Rome), impelled leading Catholic and Pentecostalist church figures in Sweden to call into question Hammar’s position as ex officio Chairman of the Swedish Council for Ecumenical Relations (of which both of the above bodies, among others, are members), and, as a result of Hammar’s outspoken defense of the exhibition, led to calls for the resignation of the 55-year-old archbishop, who was appointed only in 1997.

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William J. Tighe is Associate Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry. He is a Member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

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