The Church of Sweden set new rules regarding language to make the church more inclusive. The Church is urging clergy to use gender-neutral language and refrain from terms like “Lord” and “him.”
Last year Swedish lesbian bishop Eva Brune proposed removing crosses and Christian symbols from her church to make it more inclusive.
The Church of Sweden has voted to adopt a controversial new handbook which says masculine references to God, such as “He” and “Lord” should be scrapped so as to be more “inclusive”.
Despite heavy criticism from organisations including Royal Swedish Academy, on Thursday the church approved the new handbook with a large majority.
The Church Handbook — which was last updated in 1986 — sets out how services, baptisms, weddings and funerals should be conducted, in language, liturgy, theology and music, and is therefore central to the church’s activities.
According to local media, many priests have objected to directions in the new handbook regarding language, which have been added with the goal of making the church “more inclusive”.
This includes instructing clergy to refer to God in a gender-neutral fashion, without “unnecessarily” using the male pronoun “He”, or terms like “Lord”.