"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: November 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019

Notable Extoots: Johanna Hurtig

Johanna Hurtig

(Google Translation to English)

11/29/2018 1:40 PM - Meri Toivanen | Homeland
Johanna Hurtig

Last Sunday the inauguration of the priesthood and diaconia took place at Tampere Cathedral. Among the initiates was the familiar name of many who followed ecclesiastical and religious debate.

Dr. Johanna Hurtig, Doctor of Social Sciences, is known for her research in raising early childhood sexual abuse in the Laestadianism..

Hurtig received a priestly ordination as a temporary expert in social ethics and human rights at the Church Council. Her employment will last until the end of 2020.

The Church Board is located in Helsinki, but Hurtig participated in the inauguration in Tampere based on his home town of Hollola. The area will move to the Diocese of Mikkeli early next year. However, as Hurtig does not hold a parish office, she remains a priest in Tampere.

- The ordination was significant, Hurtig says a few days after the inauguration by telephone from her home in Kärkölä.

- Particularly at the fair was how people queued up for us when we shared a communion with another ordained priest in the hallway of the cathedral.

But how did this come about?

Johanna Hurtig says.

Master of Social Ethics in Moral Activity of Conservative Lestadian Adults

Some years ago, Hurtig began to feel more and more called to be called. She noticed that the priesthood seemed an interesting idea.

Could I go on a new one at this point? Hurtig asked herself. Born in 1960, she felt she had gained a lot in the academic world. Most recently, Hurtig worked as an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Lapland. In 2014, she received the State Information Disclosure Award for her research on abuse.

On the other hand, the fire for academic work had become fragile. The university world started to feel like a stranger.

In 2017, Hurtig applied for a postgraduate program at the University of Helsinki, based on her previous studies. The studies have been rated for two years, but Hurtig completed them in one and a half years. After graduation, she applied for a year's job and during that time returned to her former job at the university.

Hurtig's Master of Social Ethics was based on material she had collected during her earlier research. In Graduate, she looked at the moral authority of adults in the Conservative Lestadian revival movement and the importance of the religious community to it.

Hurtig stated in her thesis that the Conservative-Laestadian movement as a community does not seem to recognize the ethical potential of its membership. Unused or underutilized individuals' moral capital cannot grow or develop.

The encounter of dishonesty led to the priesthood

Johanna Hurtig says she has repeatedly asked herself why? Why did she still want to be a priest at this age and at this stage in his life?

There are many reasons, Hurtig says.

- But somehow they connect with my research years 2009-2013.

For Hurtig, investigating sexual abuse in her own revival movement was not just an academic process. It affected her spiritually. She says she understands that something she encountered in those years deeply upset her.

According to Hurtig, it was not so much about people doing bad things to each other, nor about how ugly things can be.

- It wasn't new. I wasn't young then.

Hurtig says she was shocked by the dishonesty she faced during her research years.

- Those who believe in themselves did not recognize dishonesty in themselves, in one another or in the community, even though the signs were clear and easily visible.

People are mistaken, weak, and make mistakes, Hurtig says.

- Then the conscience tells you that that was not true, that act was wrong. There must be responsibility, repentance. It was somehow terribly sad to watch for so long that truth, light, compassion, and honesty disappeared, and hid somewhere in the community I was researching.

Hurtig disassociates herself from the Conservative Lestadism and approaches "Church Faith"

After the investigation, the sadness deepened. According to Hurtig, it aroused a kind of longing, the expectation of counterattack.

- I missed goodness, love and honesty. I felt that nothing else was strong enough to counteract the darkness I encountered except God.

Hurtig says she has come closer to "believing in the church." She attended the fair and became a steward in her home church. She had already exited the Conservative Laestadian movement.

- I value knowledge and research, but now I am delighted to be able to serve God as a priest, to share His miracles, love, and goodness. Only He has the power to turn evil into good and darkness into light.

"The movement has begun to understand that criticism cannot be completely superseded"

Johanna Hurtig calls Conservative Laestadianism a breeding ground. She now sees her relationship with the movement as straightforward. In recent years, she has repeatedly attended a summer event for the Conservative Laestadians in the Summer Clubs.

- I wouldn't be here without that background. Spiritually, I have moved to the common church. I'm not in the sect, but there are a lot of people I love there.

Other women consecrated to the priesthood from a conservative Laestadian background are close friends with Hurtig.

In recent years, Hurtig has followed the development of the Conservative Laestadian movement as a whole. She notes that the crises of the movement have been a big issue for many for whom the movement is a refuge.

Within a short period of time, a number of issues that were difficult for the revival movement were addressed in public: the role of women and their relationship to pregnancy prevention, women's priesthood, abuse scandals.

Johanna Hurtig says she can't say how far the business has gone or whether everything is behind her.

- But it seems like something has happened. The revival movement has begun to realize that the criticism of those who left it cannot be completely ignored.

Photo: Diocese of Tampere / Jussi Valkeajoki

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