Fifty years after the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Denmark ordained its first woman pastors, one third of the church's 2,000 pastors are women and, according to some estimates, women may eventually become a majority among the clergy.
The church also has two woman bishops, one in Elsinore, near Copenhagen, and one in Greenland. A long and bitter debate preceded the break with tradition in 1947 when the Danish parliament repealed earlier legislation and legalized the ordination of women.Even now, some opposition remains in the church, of which almost 90 percent of Danes are members. All bishops approve of woman pastors, as do most parish committees. But some critics say that woman pastors are promoting a "feminist theology" and giving too much emphasis to welfare work in the parishes.