Three more priests have been brought to the attention of the Church Council under allegations of sexual abuse of parishioners.
Vísir reports that none of the three priests have been accused of sexual abuse before, and that all three cases are not recent. One of the priests in question is deceased, one has retired, and one is still working within the church. One incident alleged occurred when the accuser was a child, while the other two were adults. These last two alleged incidents occurred about six to ten years ago.
Gunnar Rúnar Matthíasson, chairman of the church council, said that the church takes the matter seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation. He added that it is up to the alleged victims to choose whether to take the matter to the police, or keep the investigation within the church. He would not disclose where in Iceland the accused priests practised, or in the case of one, is still practising.
Recent allegations of sexual assault at the hands of a former bishop – and the church’s initial reticence on the matter – sparked strong public outrage among Icelanders, with many of them de-registering from the national church and the question of separation of church and state coming to the fore again.