The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church's (EELK) executive body has suspended the activities of one of Estonia's best-known clergymen, Jaan Tammsalu until September 1, due to him having committed adultery, and therefore, in their view an offence against morality, according to a report by daily newspaper Õhtuleht.
While Tammsalu himself did not respond to Õhtuleht's request for comments, on June 9 he published a letter on the congregation's website stating that he had been on sick leave since the end of May.
"At the request of the archbishop, I wrote a request on 29.05.2023, in which I stated that I wished to take medical leave until September 1. On the basis of my request for leave and the proposal of Archbishop Urmas Viilma, the EELK Consistory [executive board – ed.] decided on 6.06.2023 to suspend my activity as a clergyman from June 12 to September 1" Tammsalu's letter reads.
According to Õhtuleht, Archbishop Viilma gave Tammsalu, who is very well-known and popular, the opportunity to save his marriage, otherwise he would no longer be able to continue in his role.
The full Õhtuleht article can be found (in Estonian) here.
Editor: Michael Cole