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Finland: Mgr. Sippo (Helsinki), “the Catholic faith unites people, active in the Ecumenical Council”

“There are lots of different nationalities, over 100 in this small community. It becomes difficult to give all these people a spiritual ‘home’. But it is surprising to see how the Catholic faith binds people together, uniting them: this is what always surprises me”, the Bishop of Helsinki, Mgr. Teemu Sippo, told SIR news agency, speaking about Finland. “It is a peaceful country. There are not many tragedies. It lies on the periphery of Europe and has a vast territory with only 5 million inhabitants”. In the diocese led by the prelate, there are 15,000 Catholics living in “a situation of ‘diaspora’”. There is an ecumenical body, the Council of Churches, active in the country. “My understanding is that after the Second Vatican Council, the Finnish Catholic Church has been the first local Catholic Church to become part of an Ecumenical Council in 1968. Since then, we have been very involved in ecumenical issues. I think this is one of the most positive things: that we are present there, and that we cooperate with other Churches”.

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