Pastor reprimanded for officiating at gay marriage

Titta Halinen/FacebookPerformance art by Kaj Sadinmaa

A Lutheran pastor who conducted a same-sex marriage has been reprimanded by his church.

Kaj Sadinmaa, former pastor of Kallio in Helsinki, officiated at a gay wedding on 1 March this year, the day the secular law allowing gay marriage came into force in Finland.

He has been sanctioned for violating the teaching of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and breaking his own vows as a pastor.

The hearing in a church court in Finland took place on Wednesday, and at the hearing Sadinmaa sat in 'stocks' as a piece of protest performance art.

The vote to reprimand him severely however was not unanimous. Two of the seven members of the council, that was chaired by Bishop of Helsinki Irja Askola, voted in his favour.

Sadinmaa will appeal the reprimand on the basis that he was not an active parish minister when he carried out the ceremony, according to Uutiset.

The pastor claimed also that nearly 30 Lutheran pastors have subsequently officiated at gay weddings. Another disciplinary hearing around one of these other cases is to be heard by the council next week.

The church's Synod of Bishops said in a proclamation last year that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.