RU 19/2006 - SWEDEN
- SWEDEN: The Lutheran pastor Sten Sandmark, chief priest of the church at Oskarshamn on the eastern shore in the center of Sweden, a city just in front of the picturesque island of Gotland, declared to the press and television in Sweden and Germany that he decided to leave the Lutheran Church and "to return" to the One, Saint, Catholic and Apostolic Church. "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus", he had already declared, in Latin, to a delegation of UNEC during their pilgrimage to Sweden in September 2005. Since about ten years, the idea of a conversion to Catholicism motivated him to search for the Truth and to approach the Church, but the local authorities, notably the bishop of Stockholm, the only Catholic bishop in Sweden, is said to have welcomed him with little readiness, talking of the parallel progress of all Christian sister-Churches towards the universal Christ, and the pastor added that it is also the modern ritual of the Catholic Church as well as its contemporary theology which made him hesitate to take the step. "It looked as if I would leave Lutheranism and find it back on the other side of the river", declared the pastor. What he searched for, was the true Catholic Church of all times, the sacred ritual of the ancient Mass, the Latin and the Gregorian, the worship of the Holy Sacrament, the devoutness to the Holy Virgin, the Thomist theology, in one word everything what the unhappy Luther had rejected five centuries ago. Until the day when, at the time of this UNEC pilgrimage, the pastor Sten found, in his own church at Oskarshamn, for what he had looked so ardently: the holy Mass of all times. He was moved up to tears, together with his assistant, a young seminarist. (The association UNEC had undertaken this "Pilgrimage to Catholic Sweden on the footsteps of Saint Bridget" during a 9-days novena to this eminent Saint, with the celebration of the Holy Mass of Saint Pius V, including a Gregorian schola from France, in 5 Lutheran churches in Sweden which had been constructed before Luther by the Catholics, and the Lutherans had welcomed these pilgrims with open arms.) The "official conversion" of the pastor and his assistant, while waiting for the ulterior conversion of a certain part of the 12000 parishioners of Oskarshamn, with baptism "under condition", exorcism and abjuration of the Lutheran faith, will take place on Sunday July 30th, 2006, in a major church of the FSSPX in France which will welcome these catechumens in the Catholic Church" "in replacement" of the missing agreement of the official Church authorities. The pastor confessed that the situation became in these days particularly serious with the Lutheran Church of Sweden which was until recently a Church of the State, with all the wealth implicated; he mentioned particularly the introduction, in October 2004, of the liturgical mariage of homosexual couples, the public deviations of Lutheran bishops (2 of the 12 Lutheran bishops of Sweden are women of which at least one is known to be lesbian, one of the male bishops got married for the 3rd time, etc...) - "All this obliged me morally to get out of a structure in which I could not figure anymore as one of the responsible persons." The pastor says that he leaves the Lutheran Church in order to rejoin the faith and the community of the Catholic Church "in its integrity", and he does it "for saving my soul". He insisted: "We want to restart there where Luther was mistaken, while taking the path from there". According to him, a lot of parishes of the countryside remained basically Catholic, up to many liturgical details, in the Lutheran Church of Sweden where the "conversion" to the new religion in the 16th century was, according to pastor Sten, felt by the population as a pure matter of politics and money on the level of the Power. The faithful did not really feel concerned. Pastor Sten, as well as his assistant, seminarist Joacim, have the project to do, after their conversion, some complementary theological studies, and then to become Catholic priests, in order to go back as "missionaries" to Sweden, while starting with celebrating the ancient Holy Mass at first "in a garage transformed into a chapel", as it has been practiced with success in France after the spiritual disaster which followed the Council Vatican II. May Saint Bridget, patron of Sweden and co-patron of Christian Europe, assist these holy intentions, to bring back her beautiful country of Sweden, and all of Europe, into the haven of the Church, the only path on earth towards the Salvation since its institution by our Savior Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago. - It's to be noted that UNEC will undertake, by car (BOURMAUD), a similar pilgrimage from August 5th to 14th, 2006, this time to "Catholic Norway". Global price 1390 E per person in double room (option possible for individual room), Holy Catholic Mass of the rite St Pius V every day, selected hotels, Fjords... Register preferably before end May 31st, 2006, to: VOYAGES BOURMAUD, BP 21, F-85620 Rocheservières, France phone +33-2 51 94 90 71. - (ru)
- Negative counter: 391st day of the official maintenance of "excommunication" of +Mgr Marcel Lefebvre and the bishops of the (largest part of the) Catholic tradition under the pontificate of Benedict XVI.
- Positive counter: 278 babies saved from abortion by SOS MOTHERS (UNEC) since 1995.
- - A.M.D.G. - -