Archdiocese of Turku
|Archdiocese of Turku
|Ecclesiastical province||Turku & Finland|
|Metropolitan||Archbishop of Turku & Finland|
|Denomination||Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland|
The Archdiocese of Turku (Finnish: Turun arkkihiippakunta, Åbo ärkestift), historically known as Archdiocese of Åbo, is the seat of the Archbishop of Turku. It is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and its see city is Turku. The Archbishop has many administrative tasks relating to the National church, and is the Metropolitan and Primate of the church. In common with other Lutheran and Anglican churches the Archbishop is considered primus inter pares, whilst all diocesan bishops retain their independence within their respective jurisdictions.
Influenced by papal bulls, Swedish magnates in the 12th century set up crusading expeditions to convert the heathens in the eastern Baltic. This resulted in the establishment of the Catholic Church, the Christian religion and the Swedish conquest of southern Finland in 1249. Turku, or Åbo, became the principal city in Finland and residence of a Bishopric. As a result of Protestant Reformation in the 16th century the Catholic Church had to give way for the Lutheran state church which was established by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden, whose principal reformer in Finland was Mikael Agricola and from 1554 also the Bishop.
After the Finnish War in 1809, Finland became a part of the Russian Empire as an autonomous grand duchy. In 1817 the Bishop was created Archbishop and became head of the Church in Finland, which thereupon became the state church of the grand duchy. In 1870, the church was detached from the state as a separate judicial entity. After Finland had gained independence in 1917, through the constitution of 1919 and the act on religious freedom of 1922 the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland became a national church of Finland (along with the Finnish Orthodox Church, which however did not get a constitutional position).
Archbishop of Turku
The bishopric of Turku was elevated to an archbishopric in 1817, and since then the Ordinary has held the full official title of Archbishop of Turku and Finland. There has been a continuous succession of archbishops since that time. Since the retirement of Archbishop Jukka Paarma in 2010, Kari Mäkinen has been the incumbent Archbishop of Turku and Finland. He previously served in the archdiocese as the Bishop of Turku.
Bishop of Turku
Since 1998, the Diocese of Turku has had a bishop in addition to the Archbishop. The Bishop of Turku is responsible for the oversight of all the parishes of the diocese except for those in the deaneries of Turku and Naantali, which are led by the Archbishop. This arrangement allows the Archbishop to take a leading role on the national and international stages.
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