Bishop Matti Väisänen of Luther Foundation Finland (LFF), the Finnish partner to Mission Province in Sweden and Finland, was defrocked on Wednesday 08/11 by the Cathedral Chapter of Tampere Diocese led by Bishop Matti Repo. The basis of defrocking was the episcopal ordination of Väisänen in last March. Prior to this, Väisänen had served as a pastor in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland for 46 years, and is a well-known figure in the confessional movement inside the Finnish national church.
Väisänen was called to serve as a bishop in the Mission Province, the care of Finnish pastors and congregations as his primary task. Luther Foundation and Mission Province are reacting to the rapidly increasing liberalism and secularism inside the Scandinavian established churches, the key issues being the ordination of women and – lately – blessing of the same-sex partnerships. For already ten years, it has been practically impossible for candidates refusing to accept female clergy to receive ordination into the pastoral office, while the members of the church with similar conviction find it increasingly difficult to find places to worship in anymore. Luther Foundation has countered this problem by calling and ordaining its own pastors via Mission Province, assigning them with the task of serving new congregations in Finland. Neither these pastors nor the congregations they serve are recognized by the established church.
Attached below are Matti Väisänen’s response to the Cathedral Chapter as well as LFF’s response concerning the defrocking of its Bishop.