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Polish Church Appoints Openly Gay Bishop

At it’s general conference last weekend in Warsaw, the Christian United Church of Poland elected as bishop Rev. Szymon Niemiec, 35, an openly gay man and the founder of Poland’s first Gay Pride parade.The LGBT Religious Archives Network describes Niemiec’s rise:

Szymon was raised in a Roman Catholic family and was strongly drawn to the church as a child. While serving as an altar boy in his mother’s congregation he became disillusioned noticing that money and gifts were more important for clergy then people and congregation. His feelings of being called by God for ministry were crushed when he was 16 and experienced hate speech, condemnation,and blackmail from Catholic clergy. For the next several years he declared himself an agnostic. In 1991, he received a diploma as an instructor of theater. By 1998 he had come out publicly as a gay man, not a common occurrence in Poland at that time.

In 2000 Szymon met the Rev. Ernest Ivanovs from Latvia, who like Szymon was ex-Catholic and and called by God. Ivanovs helped Niemiec recover and understand his Christian faith. In 2003 Ivanovs came to Poland to establish the Free Reformed Church of Poland and confirmed Szymon in that church. The Free Reformed Church in Poland became the first Christian church in that country to openly welcome lesbian and gay persons.

Ivanovs left Poland in 2005 and retired from ministry due to poor health. Niemiec was examined and ordained by the congregation as a Deacon. He attempted to study at the Polish Christian Academy of Theology, but was rejected because he was openly gay. So Szymon decided to undergo informal biblical study. In 2007 this small Free Reformed congregation decided to start the process of registering with the government. This was not easy in Poland as it required considerable money and a minimum of 100 signatures confirmed by notary. Niemiec began serving as Moderator of the congregation at that time. On 9 November 2008 the congregation decided to ordain Niemiec to the office of Elder.

Also at the conference on Saturday, delegates decided to join the United Ecumenical Catholic Church, a more liberal and inclusive denomination than traditional Roman Catholicism.

On:           Apr 26, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
    • the other Greg

      Cute bishop. He can cross my chessboard diagonally anytime.

      Apr 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EvonCook

      I want to take communion directly from his scepter or rod. Hot priests turned me on even as a kid, and I got to fool around with some. It was the best part of religion and men in long skirts.

      Apr 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • w.e.

      Spicy polish sausage, anyone?

      Apr 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • el polacko

      cute–ish. not sure about that flock of seagulls hairdo but i guess fashion trends take a while to reach poland.

      Apr 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob

      I got to marry one!

      Apr 27, 2012 at 8:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC

      @w.e.: Get out the kielbasa, lol!

      Apr 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlackRockRitual

      This whole thing is adorable.

      Apr 27, 2012 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jack jett

      He looks like Alan Cumming.

      I would love to hear them announce him as Bishop Cumming.

      Apr 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James M. Martin

      Gay or not, he is peddling a delusion.

      Apr 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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