Thorkild Grosbøll

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Thorkild Grosbøll (born February 27, 1948) is a former parish priest in the Church of Denmark. In the early 2000s he received a lot of media attention in Denmark for publicly stating disbelief in an interventionist creator God. [1]

A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

Church of Denmark Evangelical-Lutheran denomination in Denmark

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark or National Church, sometimes called Church of Denmark, is the established, state-supported church in Denmark. The reigning monarch is the supreme secular authority in the church. As of 1 January 2019, 74.7% of the population of Denmark are members, though membership is voluntary.

After various other services, Grosbøll became parish priest in Taarbæk June 1991. [2]

In the spring of 2003, Thorkild Grosbøll published the book En Sten i Skoen (A Stone in the Shoe), resulting in very limited reactions, though he wrote in it that he does not believe in God. On May 23, 2003, the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen published an interview with Grosbøll, in which he repeated statements from his book, in particular that he does not believe in a creating or upholding God. [3] [4]

God Divine entity, supreme being and principal object of faith

In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians, commonly include the attributes of omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), omnipresence (all-present), and as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most often held to be incorporeal (immaterial). Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation.

Weekendavisen is a Danish weekly broadsheet newspaper published on Fridays in Denmark. Its circulation is approximately 60,000 copies, about ten per cent of which cover subscriptions outside Denmark. According to opinion polls, however, the actual number of readers is much higher. Perceived to be a continuation of the original Berlingske Tidende, Weekendavisen regards itself as the world's oldest newspaper.

After a public outcry, the bishop in Elsinore, Lise-Lotte Rebel, started talks with the priest on June 3, 2003 about his faith. Simultaneously, she relieved him of his duties as parish priest in Taarbæk as she believed Grosbøll had failed in four accounts:

Lise-Lotte Rebel Danish bishop

Lise-Lotte Rebel is a bishop of the Church of Denmark. Since April 2, 1995 she has served as the bishop of the Diocese of Helsingør in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. She was the first woman to become a bishop in the Church of Denmark.

Creed Statement of belief

A creed is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets.

On July 23, 2003, Thorkild Grosbøll was allowed to continue his service as a parish priest in Taarbæk, subject to special supervision by the bishop.

On June 3, 2004, Grosbøll was instructed to resign no later than June 4, or he would be suspended. On June 7, 2004, the chairman of the elected parish council in Taarbæk, Lars Heilesen, informed the parish about the situation in the church in Taarbæk. On June 10, 2004, Rebel again relieved Thorkild Grosbøll of his duties.

During all these events, the parish community in Taarbæk stood by Thorkild Grosbøll. There was an animated public debate, occasionally fuelled by statements from Grosbøll like: "God belongs in the past. He is actually so old fashioned that I am baffled by modern people believing in his existence. I am thoroughly fed up with empty words about miracles and eternal life." At the same time he maintained that the bishop and the press misunderstood him, taking quotes from his sermons out of context.

Miracle highly unusual event believed to be of supernatural or divine origin

A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being, magic, a miracle worker, a saint, or a religious leader.

Eternal life (Christianity) concept of Christianity

Eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, as outlined in Christian eschatology. The Apostles' Creed testifies: "I believe... the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting." In this view, eternal life commences after the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead, although in the New Testament's Johannine literature there are references to eternal life commencing in the earthly life of the believer, possibly indicating an inaugurated eschatology.

Sermon oration by a member of the clergy

A sermon is an oration or lecture by a preacher. Sermons address a scriptural, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of the sermon often include exposition, exhortation, and practical application. The act of delivering a sermon is known as preaching.

On July 12, 2004 the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs transferred the case to an ecclesiastical court. The first stage of this process, a hearing of the involved parties, was concluded February 2005. On May 11, 2005, the ministry relieved bishop Rebel from her supervision of Thorkild Grosbøll, and transferred the supervision to the bishop in Roskilde, Jan Lindhardt. Thereby the ministry put the ecclesiastical court case on hold. [5] On May 20, 2006 Grosbøll confirmed his priestly vows before Lindhardt in the presence of witnesses and by his signature, and was allowed to serve again as parish priest, but was instructed not to talk to the press.

Thus the case was put to rest till autumn 2007, where it was decided that the supervision was to be transferred to the bishop in Århus, Kjeld Holm, by May 1, 2008, when Lindhart would retire. As announced shortly after this decision, Grosbøll retired early when he turned 60 in February 2008. [6]

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  1. Lars Sandbeck. "Ugudelige prædikener - Thorkild Grosbøll har bevaret vantroen" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  2. "Taarbæk kirkes hjemmeside - Taarbæk Kirkes historie - Præster ved Taarbæk Kirke - Thorkild Grosbøll" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  3. "Tror? Det ved gud jeg ikke gør | Information" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  4. 31. maj 2003 01:00. "Præsten uden Gud | Kristeligt Dagblad" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  5. Anne M. Sørensen. "Thorkild Grosbøll splitter igen kirken" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  6. "Præsten, der ikke tror på Gud" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-06-06.