Posted by: rbbadger | September 19, 2009

New Bishop of Helsinki

Recently, the Diocese of Helsinki gained a new bishop.  It is sort of a historical first for the Diocese of Helsinki, as it marks the first time a native Finn has become the bishop of the local diocese.  Bishop Teemu Sippo, SCI is the first Finnish Catholic Bishop since the Protestant Reformation.  In Scandinavia, the Catholic Church is an extreme minority.   According the statistics released by the Diocese of Helsinki, it numbers only about 9,067 people in a total population of five million.   In Sweden, the numbers are somewhat larger, though Catholics only make up 1.6% of the total population of the country.  In 1998, Father Anders Arborelius was appointed as Bishop of Stockholm.  Bishop Arborelius is also the first Swedish Catholic bishop since the Protestant Reformation. 

In Finland, the Church of Finland is the official state religion.  However, most Finns do not attend church regularly.  The same is true in Sweden and Norway, though Sweden has recently disestablished the Church of Sweden as its official state religion. 

The Catholic Cathedral in Helsinki looks to be rather small, although it is very nice looking.

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smdsc_8308-piispa-teemu-helsinki

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