In Sweden, women priests now more numerous than the men

En Suède, les femmes prêtres désormais plus nombreuses que les hommes

For the first time in its history, Sweden has more women priests than men, and sixty years after the first ordinations of female, a-t-on learned on Wednesday from the Church of Sweden.

“On the 3060 priests now in service in Sweden, 1533 are women and 1527 men are men,” said to the AFP Cristina Grenholm, secretary of the Church of Sweden, a proportion of 50.1% of women with 49.9% of men.

Unlike the catholic church, the lutheran Church in sweden, which ordered three women for the first time in 1960, permitted women to become priests since 1958. In 1982, the Swedish Parliament passed a law removing the “conscience clause” that allowed priests to refuse any collaboration with a woman.

“The parity is arrived more quickly than we had imagined,” says Cristina Grenholm. In 1990, a report estimated that the share of women in the clergy swedes do would be half of the priests in 2090. This has finally taken thirty years “.

One of the reasons that explain this phenomenon is the gradual increase in the proportion of female students in teaching as a priest, particularly after the separation of Church and State, in 2000. In 2013, approximately 70 % of the Swedish students who were in training practice of the priest were women.

“Today, many parishes are trying to have both a man and a woman to say mass at the service on Sunday,” explains Cristina Grenholm. “Since we believe that God created human beings, both man and woman in his image, it is essential that we show. If we exclude half of the experience that represents the life of a woman, then we exclude a lot of things.”

If in Sweden the clergy has reached parity, the wage gap between the priests, men and women remains in average of 2200 Swedish crowns, or about 215 euros per month, according to the newspaper specialized Kyrkans tidning.

“One of the explanations that one can give to this difference is that it includes all the priests from the Swedish Church. However, men still hold positions of hierarchical, the most high, ” said Ms. Grenholm.

In Sweden, the ministers of the worship of the Church of Sweden have the title of priest, while those serving in parishes outside the old State Church are called pastors.

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