The Turning Point of Lutheran Anti-Catholicism: The Reception of the Second Vatican Council in Finland

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The Second Vatican Council indirectly furthered the high approach of Finnish Lutheranism to liturgy and episcopal ministry by tempering fear of the Roman Catholic Church, paving the way for acceptance of such concepts as successio apostolica and episcopal consecration. This change in attitude toward Catholicism can be observed in the writings and speeches of certain Finnish Lutheran bishops. This article examines the hopes and fears of the Finnish Lutheran bishops raised by the announcement of Pope John xxiii that an ecumenical council would be assembled and investigates the role of the Finnish observer Seppo A. Teinonen at the council. Teinonen wrote theologically detailed articles and lectures about the council and its progress and aims, works that gradually helped to vanquish the long-standing tradition of mild anti-Catholicism in Finland and create space for the liturgical and episcopal renewal of Finnish Lutheranism. It is apparent that the principal catalyst in this Nordic Lutheran development is the successful ecumenical dialogues between the Lutheran and Anglican Churches that resulted in the Porvoo Agreement of 1992. However, the impact of the Second Vatican Council on this development in Finland has not been previously investigated, and it has thus not been taken into account. This study thus fills an obvious gap in the field of theology and ecumenics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalToronto Journal of Theology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 614 Theology

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