Anti-abortion activist Per Kørner demonstrated his views during Sunday’s ceremony in Tromsø consecrating the newest bishop of the Norwegian Church, Olav Øygard. Kørner was eventually seized by two civilian clad police who firmly escorted him out of the ceremony.
Øygard, formerly the dean of the Norwegian church in Alta, was selected as the new bishop for the counties of Finnmark and Troms, known as Nord-Hålogaland within the church. His consecration packed the cathedral in Tromsø and was attended by King Harald V, two government ministers and fellow bishops.
Kørner disrupted the ceremony when he strode forth in the cathedral, sitting down close to the king until he was literally carried out, involuntarily, by the two policemen. Then the ceremony continued as normal. Kørner told newspaper Aftenposten afterwards that he wanted “to challenge the church to fight on behalf of the most helpless members of society,” in his view, unborn children.
Øygard, as part of his first sermon as bishop, also spoke out for the rights of those with Down’s Syndrome, whom he fears may be “denied the right to be born and grow up. We should have a cure against that for a society that would think in such a way.”
King Harald also took part in a luncheon honoring the new bishop after the ceremony. Øygard was named as new bishop in September, succeeding Per Oskar Kjølaas.