The Augsburg Confession

The Augsburg Confession (Confessio Augustana) was adopted in 1593 at the Uppsala Synod together with other books, such as the Large and Small Catechisms, as an expression that the church in Sweden was joining the Reformation. Since that time, the confessions have been the subject of continuous reflection, like the texts of the Bible, not least in conjunction with the Reformation Jubilees in 1893 and 1993.

In 1992, for example, the following ecclesiastical proclamation of the Church of Sweden's fundamental documents was issued:
"Section 1. The faith, creed and doctrine of the Church of Sweden, as embodied in the worship and life, are based on God's holy word, as it is given in the Old and New Testaments' prophetic and apostolic writings, are summarised in the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds and the unaltered Augsburg Confession of 1530, are affirmed and recognised in the resolution of the Uppsala Synod of 1593, and are explained and annotated in the Book of Concord and in the second affirming document of the Church of Sweden."
The final line shows that the Church of Sweden in its Synod expresses that the church expects ongoing theological reflection. It does not make any deletions or other modifications in the official documents other than those that could be introduced by new translations. On the other hand, there is a distinction between fundamental ideas and things that are seen to be time-related. As early as 1593, it was written about the Augsburg Confession that, in conjunction with the three confessions of faith mentioned above, it contained "the core and sum of our Christian religion".
The order of succession expresses that the Royal Family should belong to the reformed church, which in Sweden is understood to be the Evangelical Lutheran branch of the Christian church, the Church of Sweden. Within the Church of Sweden, there is ongoing theological reflection on the biblical scriptures and the confession documents of the latter, which includes the Augsburg Confession. This also means an ongoing dialogue between the Christian communities and a religious dialogue in order to lead to an ever deeper mutual understanding, and in this way also to counteract prejudices. It is in this perspective that the provisions of the order of succession of the Royal Family's church affiliation must be understood.

Lars-Göran Lönnermark
Bishop Emeritus and Chief Court Chaplain