After another wave of sex scandals has hit the institution this year, the Church of Sweden is trying to limit damage and maintain the faith of its flock. The Church has been dealing with a steady flow of publicised sexual incidents for a number of years, and things have yet to cool down.
Archbishop Anders Wejryd told the TT news agency he regrets the incidents, but to his credit insists that transparency is the best way to deal with the ongoing problem. “It is tragic, but I think that we have been successful in our ambition to get people to file reports,” he said.
In April, branches of the Church in Stockholm, Lund and Vaxjo had to deal with several incidents related to sex such as a priest who has having an inappropriate relationship with a 15 year-old, a priest who slept with a grieving widow, and a third who was caught abusing women with language on an Internet dating site.
Wejryd completely understands the media’s obsession with sex and priests, but believes his church is doing all it can to curb the problem. The Church widely distributes a brochure at all its churches providing contact information to report a sexual assault.
The sexual assault reports already filed over the past few years show numerous incidents involving priests and deacons from nearly every district in Sweden. The cases involve everything from sexual harassment to porn-surfing priests.