Clergy of the National Church of Iceland are of varying opinions with regards to whether bishop Karl Sigurbjörnsson should resign altogether, step aside temporarily while a “truth committee” investigates part of his past, or whether he should stay where he is.
Part of the controversy concerns not just victims of sexual abuse at the hands of former bishop Ólafur Skúlason coming forward, and the church’s seeming unwillingness to fully deal with cases of sexual abuse within its walls – the matter also concerns how Karl, who was a priest when the charges against Ólafur first arose, responded to the situation at that time.
About 40 priests of the Priest Society of Southwest Iceland met yesterday to discuss the bishop’s future. “We intend to learn from that which has not gone well so we can better serve people in the future,” said society chairman Sigfús Kristjánsson, “That is the wish of most of us.”
Former High Court justice Pétur Kr. Hafstein is currently preparing a “truth committee” to investigate the church’s past and present. It is likely to be ready to begin its work within the next few months.