History of the Icelandic church unfortunately not unique
Icelandic Newspaper, Visir, covers Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune visit to Reykjavik to hold workshops and seminars on Sex Abuse at their National Church.
Fréttablaðið 18th National October 2011 06:00 (this has been translated using Google Translate)
Dr. Marie M. Fortune believes that a prerequisite for church [is to] build up their confidence again to the public, that men who use violence in it are held accountable. Frettabladid / anton
The long saga of the Icelandic church and its relation to sexual offenses, as everybody knows, is not unique and many other countries have similar stories to tell of the leaders within their churches. This says Dr. Marie M. Fortune, a priest and founder of Faith Trust Institute.
Fortune is an expert in the field of education and prevention issues of sexual abuse within churches and has come to this country to hold workshops and seminars at the national church. The title of the forum held today [is] the Sexual Abuse of Children in a Religious Context, and the title of the seminar to be held tomorrow [is] Sexual Abuse and the Appropriate Response in the Context of Church and Religious Organizations.
"Our churches can reach back again [to] the priests of abuse if it is supported by victims, and perpetrators [can be] held accountable," she says. "It is possible to resolve it when individual priests have [been] declared [of] confidentiality breaches, but it is not possible to deal with the betrayal of the Church as an institution. It is the fraud that is driving people away from church. "
Asked whether she believes that Karl Sigurbjörnsson bishop should resign to restore public confidence in the church, Fortune tells:
"When the leader of the church no longer enjoys the confidence of the people associated with these difficult issues, it might be best to step aside. Then the new leader [is] given the opportunity to restore the trust that is so important, "she says.
It came as no surprise [to] Fortune when she first heard of Kynferðisbrotamálum the Icelandic church. She says [that] sexual abuse by leaders of Christian churches [has come] to be a common problem worldwide.
"The most important lesson is learning to listen. To take people seriously when they come forward and reported abuse and protect children, teens and adults from the church leaders who harm others, "she says.
The seminar will be today from 10 am to 13 Opportunities in the University Main Building University. In addition, Fortune will [join] Ebba Gudrun Olafsdottir, Sigfinnur Thorleifsson, sjúkrahúsprestur and lecturer at the University, Brynhildur G. Flóvenz, lawyer and associate professor at the University, Dr. Solveig Anna Bóasdóttir, theologian and professor, and Dr.. Berglind Gudmundsdottir, a psychologist at University Hospital and a former member of a research councils, to give a talk.
[translated using Google Translate]