Theologian who attended Pride prevented from teaching

The Evangelical bishops say Ondrej Prostredník outraged many believers with his speech at the Dúhový Pride event.

Ondrej ProstredníkOndrej Prostredník (Source: SME)

When Ondrej Prostredník gave a speech during Dúhový Pride in Bratislava on August 19, he introduced himself as an Evangelical theologian and Christian, who is speaking in the name of Christians who disagree with the hostile approach of the Church to the LGBTI community.

He also claimed that the Church should support the initiative to allow registered partnerships for these people, the Sme daily reported.

“I want the Churches to end their absurd connection between the LGBTI community and the threat to the so-called traditional family,” Prostredník said, as quoted by Sme. “I want the Churches to stop talking about every minority as something that violates traditions, continuity and safety.”

The Bishopric of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession has recently decided to strip Prostredník of a canonical mission, which means he cannot continue teaching at the Comenius University’s Evangelical Theological Faculty.

In the statement sent to Prostredník and to the faculty, the bishopric distanced itself from the theologian’s statements. The bishops say he abuses the academic freedom of scientific research to influence the opinions and implant attitudes that are at odds with the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (ECAV). They also say many believers were outraged by his statements.

Read also:Evangelic Church dismissed priest for supporting same-sex marriages Read more 

“The bishopric cannot close its eyes to Ondrej Prostredník’s actions anymore, so it is removing his canonical mission as of September 15,” reads the statement, as quoted by Sme.

The daily asked for a more specific explanation of how Prostredník abuses academic freedom, but did not receive an answer.

Prostredník says he has never seen bishops ban somebody from teaching at the university. He signed a contract with the faculty, not the Church. The fact that the Church forbids him to teach is unfounded in secular society.

“If the theology faculty is a public university, it should be sovereign and theology as a science cannot be limited by church teaching,” he said, as quoted by Sme.

The faculty says that Prostredník will not be dismissed. Since the canonical mission relates only to teaching, he can continue his scientific research. It does not plan to discipline him, said the dean, Ľubomír Batka.

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