Sunday, September 24, 2006

Greenland Lutherans Need More Male Pastors Says Female Bishop

Greenland bishop says she travels a lot

Greenland has a chronic shortage of male pastors, says Inuit Bishop Sofie Petersen. There ordained women outnumber men in the church nearly three to one.

"In Greenland there are only 56,000 inhabitants. Most of them are Lutherans," says the bishop. "In my church there are 25 pastors, but only nine of them are males. What's more there are three deans in our church and two of them are women."

Petersen, who heads the Greenland diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark adds, "I really think that we miss our male pastors."

She began her work in 1987, and at that time she was only the second woman to be ordained in Greenland.

"I decided to become a pastor when I was 11 years old. My father was a pastor," said the bishop who is divorced and has one son. "I like to serve God and people, who need to hear the Good News."

She notes: "I am proud to be indigenous," adding that Inuit people make up 81 percent of the population of the population of the far northern province of Denmark, Greenland.

"I don't know how it is to be a male bishop, therefore I can't say if it is difficult to be a woman bishop. I know that there is a lot of traveling. I am not feminist and in our church we are seriously thinking how to get more males working in church work," says Bishop Petersen.

Les luthériens du Groenland manque de pasteurs masculins

Sofie Petersen, évêque du diocèse du Groenland de l'Église Évangélique Luthérienne du Danemark insiste beaucoup sur le manque d'hommes au sein du corps pastoral de son Église : "Au Groenland, il n'y a que 56.000 habitants. La majorité d'entre eux sont luthériens. Dans mon Église, il y a vingt-cinq pasteurs, mais neuf d'entre eux seulement sont des hommes."

Deuxième femme ordonnée pasteur au Groenland, en 1987, elle trouve que sa tâche épiscopale exige beaucoup de voyages : "Je ne sais pas ce que c'est que d'être un homme évêque, je ne peux par conséquent pas vous dire s'il est difficile d'être une femme évêque."


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