The Lutheran Church of Sweden has elected its first woman Archbishop. German-born Antje Jackelen, who is a bishop in Lund in southern Sweden, polled just over 55% of the vote, beating her rival by a clear margin.
Bishop Jackelen was ordained a priest in 1980 and became a bishop in 2006. Her election was secured by a clear majority of the 324-strong ecclesiastical college.
Commenting on the Church’s decision to elect a woman Bishop Jackelen said that “it doesn’t come as such a surprise, we’ve had female priests for 50 years” adding that “I’ve been out on the international scene a lot and I can see that there is a curiosity about female church leaders. I have confidence and that is also an asset.”
The outgoing archbishop, Anders Wejryd, echoed her sentiments, saying “it was about time” a woman took the post.
“We already have female leading bishops in Norway, USA and Germany,” said Archbishop Wejryd, who will step down next summer.