From Iceland — Priest Says: Church Has Not Admitted Its Mistakes

Priest Says: Church Has Not Admitted Its Mistakes

Published June 16, 2011

An Icelandic priest believes the national church has not fully owned up to how poorly it handled a sex abuse scandal involving a former bishop. One of the former bishop’s victims says the current one is shirking personal responsibility in the matter.
As Grapevine reported, Bishop Karl Sigurbjörnsson did apologise for hiding a letter from Guðrún Ebba Ólafsdóttir, daughter of former bishop Ólafur Skúlason, who accused her father of sexually abusing her. Karl, at the time just a priest, did not file the letter with church authorities for a year and a half. After she and other women came forward last fall, speaking up about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Ólafur, an investigation was launched which reached the conclusion that the current bishop had broken the law.
Although many priests have spoken up on the matter, saying the bishop should resign, not a single member of the church council voted for his resignation yesterday.
Rev. Sigrún Óskarsdóttir, a priest at Árbæjarkirkja, told RÚV that she believes the church hasn’t completely owned up to its mistakes in the matter. “The truth of the matter in the [investigation] report is very painful. This whole story. All too long, all too difficult, all too painful.”
Sigrún Pálína Ingvarsdóttir, one of Ólafur’s victims, felt that the bishop’s apology was more insulting than anything. “I think he rather downplays his part in this, and does not admit in any way that he made a mistake.”

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