Eva Brunne

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The Right Reverend
Eva Brunne
Bishop of Stockholm
Eva Brunne-2.jpg
Brunne in September 2012
Church Church of Sweden
Diocese Diocese of Stockholm
Installed 8 November 2009
Predecessor Caroline Krook
Personal details
Birth name Gerd Eva Cecilia Brunne
Born (1954-03-07) 7 March 1954 (age 61)
Malmö, Sweden
Denomination Lutheran
Spouse Gunilla Lindén
Alma mater Lund University
Motto Don't show favouritism[1]

Gerd Eva Cecilia Brunne (born 7 March 1954) is a bishop in the Church of Sweden. She became the Bishop of Stockholm in 2009. She is the first openly lesbian bishop of a mainstream church in the world and the first bishop of the Church of Sweden to be in a registered same-sex partnership.

Education and early career[edit]

Brunne was born in Malmö, where she also grew up, on 7 March 1954.[2][3] Following college, she became a theology student at Lund University. She was ordained as a priest in 1978 and started serving in the Diocese of Lund, comprising Sweden's southernmost provinces of Blekinge and Scania. Brunne spent the first years of her priesthood in Karlskrona, Blekinge. In 1980, upon becoming Secretary General of the Swedish Student Christian Movement, Brunne took up a permanent residence in Stockholm. Before taking up the post of vicar of Sundbyberg parish in 1990, she functioned as university chaplain and bishop's adviser. Following eight years of vicarship in Sundbyberg, Brunne spent another eight years as vicar of Flemingsberg. In 2000, she became the head of Huddinge and Botkyrka deanary, serving as such until 2006.[1]


Having represented the clergy in the chapter of the Lutheran Diocese of Stockholm from 1997 until 2005, she became dean of the diocese in 2006. On 26 May 2009, Brunne was elected Bishop of Stockholm,[1][4] succeeding Caroline Krook.[5] She is the first openly lesbian bishop in the world and the first bishop of the Church of Sweden to have lived in a registered homosexual partnership.[6] Brunne won the election by 413 votes to 365 and said: "It is very positive that our church is setting an example here and is choosing me as bishop based on my qualifications, when they also know that they can meet resistance elsewhere."[6] On the official website of the Church of Sweden, Brunne wrote: "I know what it is to be called into question. I am in the lucky situation that I have power, and I can use it for the benefit of those who have no power."[4]

Brunne was consecrated as bishop by Anders Wejryd, Archbishop of Uppsala, in Uppsala Cathedral on 8 November.[6][7] King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia attended the consecration.[8] Five Anglican bishops, including the then-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, declined the invitation to attend the ceremony, as did the representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the churches of Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Archbishop Wejryd denied that the clergy of the Church of England was boycotting the ceremony.[7]

Coat of arms[edit]

Brunne confirmed that her coat of arms as Bishop of Stockholm consists of "the coat of arms for the Diocese of Stockholm, St Erik and the Swedish flag, as well as the Luther rose which was Martin Luther's own. The cross is a reminder that faith in the crucified and risen Christ gives bliss."[1]

Riksdag opening incident[edit]

In October 2010, Bishop Brunne took part in a rally against racism in Stockholm, after the nationalist Sweden Democrats party entered the Riksdag. The following day, Brunne mentioned the demonstrations in a traditional church sermon that precedes the opening of the Riksdag. In response, Jimmie Åkesson and other members of the party stormed out of the church.[9][10] Åkesson said that the Bishop obviously attacked his party in her speech.[10] Brunne denied that the speech was directed against a specific party.[11]

Removal of Christian symbols[edit]

In September 2015 Brunne proposed the removal of symbols of Christianity, including crosses, from the Seamen's Church in Stockholm Harbor, to open the church to worshipping sailors of all beliefs, and to mark the direction of Mecca as a service to Muslim visitors.[12][13][14] [15] As the Seamen's Church is an independent foundation and, while in Stockholm, not part of Brunne's Diocese of Stockholm, Kicki Wetterberg, the head of the Seamen's Church, rejected the suggestion in an interview with Dagen, stating that she had "no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors worshipping in the church, but the church will keep its crosses, being a Christian church".[16]

Personal life[edit]

Since 2001,[3] Brunne has been in a registered partnership with Gunilla Lindén, who is also an ordained priest of the Church of Sweden. The couple's relationship received a church blessing and the two have a son, born c. 2006.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bishop Eva Brunne". svenskakyrkan.se. Church of Sweden. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Ringborg, Maria (26 May 2009). "Eva Brunne vann biskopsvalet i Stockholms stift". dn.se. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Lagercrantz, Agneta (15 November 2009). "En jordnära biskop". svd.se. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Brunne, Eva (30 June 2009). "Anglicans snub Swedish lesbian bishop". The Christian Century. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Geen, Jessica (1 June 2009). "Sweden appoints lesbian bishop". Pink News. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d Schjonberg, Mary Frances. "SWEDEN: Lesbian priest ordained as Lutheran bishop of Stockholm". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Landes, David (4 November 2009). "Anglicans snub Swedish lesbian bishop". The Local. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "King and Queen attend bishop ordination at Uppsala Cathedral". kungahuset.se. Official website of the Swedish monarchy. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Plogander, Barbro; Lamm, Aron (8 October 2010). "Text Controversy at the Opening of the Swedish Parliament". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Genborg, Linda (10 October 2010). "SD storms out of church sermon". Goteburg Daily. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Bishop's sermon at the opening of the Riksdag". The Local. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Sveriges Television: Biskopen vill ta bort kristna symboler i Sjömanskyrkan. 29 september 2015.
  13. ^ Czarina Ong, Lesbian bishop wants to remove church crosses so Muslims 'won't be offended' dated 9 October 2015 at christiantoday.com, accessed 11 October 2015
  14. ^ Stoyan Zaimov, World's First Openly Lesbian Bishop to Remove Crosses, Build Islamic Prayer Room in Swedish Seamen's Church dated 7 October 2015 at christianpost.com, accessed 11 October 2015
  15. ^ Panagiotou, John (October 9, 2015). "The Cross of Christ is Foolishness to the World: A Swedish Lutheran Bishop Wars Against the Christian Faith by John G. Panagiotou". aoiusa.org. American Orthodox Institute. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  16. ^ Dagen: Biskopen vill öppna kapell för fler religioner. 28 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Church of Sweden titles
Preceded by
Caroline Krook
Bishop of Stockholm