Catholics must pay for fraud

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Norway’s Supreme Court has refused to hear another appeal from the Catholic Church in Oslo, which was accused of fraudulently inflating membership numbers in order to receive more state funding. That means the Catholics must refund around NOK 100 million in taxpayer support.

Norwegian taxpayers provide financial support to all religious groups based on membership numbers. After a raid on the offices of the Catholic diocese four years ago, it was charged and later convicted of having literally gone through the Oslo telephone catalogue and picking out people with names that sounded like they’d be Catholic, and adding them to membership lists without their knowledge or consent.

News bureau NTB reported that the church’s own website had announced that its appeal to the high court had been rejected. An appeals court decision ordering repayment of both state and municipal support thus remains standing.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised,” the attorney for the Oslo diocese, Anders Ryssdal, told newspaper Vårt Land. “Only a small percentage of cases before the Supreme Court are heard.”

newsinenglish.no staff