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In November 2008 Aalto told to the media that he is a male-to-female transsexual and will have a sex-change operation. This caused a great controversy in the Church. The bishop of Mikkeli, Voitto Huotari, commented that there is no juridical obstacle for Aalto contuing as a vicar, but that there will be problems.
In 2009 almost 600 members broke away from the Imatra parish. In November 2009 Aalto returned to the job of vicar after spending a year on leave. In March 2010 Aalto requested to be allowed to resign.
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