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Saturday, May 21, 2005
  'Atheist' back in pulpit
'Atheist' back in pulpit: "Copenhagen - A Danish Lutheran minister who was suspended after he publicly denied the existence of God renewed his clerical vows on Friday so that he can return to the pulpit.

Reverend Thorkild Grosboell promised he would be faithful to the 'apostolic belief', but did not retract comments he made in a 2003 interview in which he said 'there is no heavenly God'.

Denmark's Lutheran Church suspended him because of the comments and asked the government to put him before a disciplinary labour court. In Denmark, Lutheran ministers are employed by the state and only the government can fire or send them to the court, with a recommendation from their presiding bishop.

On May 11, Jan Lindhardt, the bishop of the Roskilde diocese, west of Copenhagen, said he would consider reinstating Grosboell if he was willing to renew his vows.

Grosboell did so on Friday by signing a document in front of Lindhardt, saying he would 'act faithfully to the apostolic belief before the face of God'.

It was unclear when Grosboell would preach to his congregation in Taarbaek, a small town north of Copenhagen, but Danish media reported he could be back in the pulpit on May 29.

Last week, Grosboell told The Associated Press that his views about God remain unchanged. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Lindhardt said Grosboell would remain under supervision because 'it is not clear to him where his boundaries are'."
 
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