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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Clergy bows out as contest judge

At first blush, it sure sounded like a fun assignment.

Einar Gelius, a Lutheran minister in Oslo, agreed to serve on a committee judging contestants in Norway’s Miss Universe pageant. According to published reports, Gelius was set to take a seat on a 12-judge panel for the qualifying round of the competition.

Objections to Gelius’ participation were reportedly raised by female clergy, but he refused to quit the contest until Bishop Ole Christian Kvarme of Oslo asked him to reconsider.

“I think it is repulsive that middle-aged men ogle 16-year-old girls in underwear. The situation is not made any better by one of the men being a clergyman,” youth vicar Margit Louise Holte told a Norwegian newspaper.

While no longer a judge, Gelius wasn’t completely moved. “I still must be able to do things in my free time without being confronted with the fact that I am a clergyman,” he reportedly said.


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