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Church of Sweden elects first female archbishop

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 19:43 EDT
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Bishop of Lund Antje Jackelen gives a speech at the Cathedral Forum in Lund in southern Sweden on Oct. 15, 2013, after beeing elected Sweden's first female Archbishop. [AFP]
 
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The Church of Sweden announced on Tuesday that it had elected a woman as its leader for the first time in the institution’s history.

The Bishop of Lund, Antje Jackelen, won 55.9 percent of the votes from the 324-strong ecclesiastical college and will replace the current archbishop Anders Wejryd.

“I’m a little dazed and grateful for the support I got,” she told news agency TT.

The 58-year-old bishop is married to a priest and has two children.

Jackelen, who was ordained in 1980, said it was not so strange for the church to choose a woman leader.

“It doesn’t come as such a surprise,” Jackelen said. “We have had female priests for over 50 years.”

About two thirds of Swedes are members of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, which separated from the state in the year 2000.

Sweden follows in the footsteps of other Lutheran churches in the US, Canada, Germany and Norway which have appointed female leaders.

“It was about time,” Anders Wejryd told TT.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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