Yesterday was a historic one for the church: Eva Brunne, 55, became the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. Only two weeks ago the Lutheran Church of Sweden — the country’s largest — said yes to same-sex marriages. Metro spoke to Eva Brunne before her ordination in Stockholm.

You’ll be the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. How does it feel to have so much public and media attention devoted to your sexual orientation?

I don’t think a heterosexual bishop would ever be asked about his wife or marriage, but I am happy if I, to some degree, can be a symbolic figure. Of course there are other things in my life that qualify me as a bishop.


But it is an important symbolic issue.

Yes, it is important to many people who also live with a same-sex partner that a bishop can also do that. But it’s not a big issue at home in Stockholm. I have yet to be in a workplace where it has been an “issue.”

It has never caused any problems for you?

No, it hasn’t. There have been those who’ve tried to make it difficult for me, but I have always lived openly. Had I chosen to hide parts of my life I probably would have had problems. As a bishop you must be allowed to be a whole person 24 hours a day, otherwise I would never have coped to be who I am and function the way I do.

The most controversial aspect of your platform seems to be that you do not believe in the virgin birth.

I believe in God, but I do not believe in details that way. For me, God has made the great miracle. It is not reasonable to give the virgin birth so much attention. That makes Maria less than the woman she was. The point is that Jesus was born. How it happened? We’ll never know.

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