COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- The Danish government today upheld the clerical suspension of a Lutheran minister who proclaimed last year that there was no God or afterlife, and he now could be fired or fined for declaring his beliefs in the pulpit.
The government said it backed the June 10 decision by Helsingoer Bishop Lise-Lotte Rebel who suspended the Rev. Thorkild Grosboell, pastor of Taarbaek, preaching his unconventional beliefs at his church.
Grosboell, who could not immediately be reached for comment, face a disciplinary labor court hearing with two theologians and a presiding judge, who will decide his punishment -- dismissal or a fine.
In a statement, Justice Minister Lene Espersen said today that Grosboell "had damaged the state (Evangelical Lutheran) Church ... and had not shown loyalty to the state Church."