Waage "Misunderstood", Says Bishop; Church Apologizes - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Waage “Misunderstood”, Says Bishop; Church Apologizes

Published August 26, 2010

Bishop of Iceland Karl Sigurbjörnsson met with Reykholt priest Geir Waage yesterday, where the conclusion of their meeting was that Waage will obey and has obeyed a law requiring all Icelandic citizens to report instances of sex abuse to the police, and that Waage’s words were taken out of context by the media. In related news, the church council has formally apologized to two women who accused former bishop Ólafur Skúlason.
For a matter of context, here is what Waage told RÚV last Saturday:
When asked if the vow of silence for the confessional took precedence over the law of the land, Waage replied, “It does take precedence over the law of the land, and always has.”
When the example was posed to him of a man who had abused someone sexually came to him and confessed, and was asked if the vow of silence applied in that situation, Waage replied, “It applies totally. It is either all or nothing.”
Nonetheless, it is the position of the bishop’s office that Waage was misunderstood, and that he will report any sex crimes confessed to him to the police.
In other news, the church council has issued an official apology to two women who have publicly claimed to be victims of sexual abuse at the hands of former bishop Ólafur Skúlason. As has come to light, the matter was kept within the church, and never reported to the police.

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