Archbishop Mäkinen has indeed posted on his Facebook page the following message:
“I know how much this day means for rainbow people, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them.”
In the days that followed that statement, that's about 12,000 people who left the Lutheran Church of Finland because they were in total disagreement with their spiritual leader.
As reported the World Mag, more than 75 percent of Finland’s 5.5 million residents are members of the Lutheran church, a status requiring them to pay an income-based tax to the church. In order to leave the church, a person must register online as well as submit a paper statement to a church office.
Hard to imagine that being a member of a church leads to pay taxes in more but this is apparently the case in Finland. So, at the slightest provocation, thousands of members resigned. Already in 2010, the Interior Minister Paivi Rasanin, leader of the Christian Democrats, had affirmed his opposition to equal marriage in a TV debate. Result: 9,000 members in less.
Just over 2010, YLE reported that there were 83,000 resignations.
Nevertheless, the Archbishop Mäkinen added on Facebook:
“There are many who are now disappointed and feel concern. This is understandable.
“I would like to say to them: I don’t think anyone’s marriage will lose importance, the Church’s faith is not under threat, and human dignity is not in decline—quite the contrary.”
The first same-sex marriages will be celebrated by 2017.