First archbishop ready to retire

Helga Haugland Byfuglien officially took over after King Harald V as head of the newly independent Norwegian Church when church and state were separated eight years ago. Now Byfuglien is about to turn 70, and says she’s ready to step down as the equivalent of Norway’s first archbishop. “There’s nothing dramatic about this,” Byfuglien told […]

Oslo’s new bishop hails open church

It seemed only fitting that the new Bishop of Oslo would be ordained on the Sunday before Christmas. Kari Veiteberg, who’s been called Norway’s version of Pope Francis, upholds the holiday tradition of extending good will all year round and now has reason to celebrate. Veiteberg is Oslo’s 32nd Lutheran bishop since the Reformation but […]

Bishop cleared, church fined

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig, leader of the Catholic Church in Oslo, won’t have to fight charges that he knowingly took part in what state prosecutors claim was massive church membership fraud. The church itself, however, has been fined and its finance director charged with allegedly inflating membership to secure more state funding. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in Oslo […]

Church confirms same-sex marriages

The bishops of The Norwegian Church (Den Norske Kirke) announced on Friday that they had given their blessing to the creation of a new liturgy for use in marriage ceremonies between people of the same sex. Advocates of chuch-recognized homosexual marriage called it “an historic breakthrough.” The move was expected, after church elections in September resulted […]

Church cleared to wed homosexuals

Results of a national election held last week to select new delegates to the governing body of The Norwegian Church have been streaming in, and setting off cheers among gay rights advocates. A majority has emerged among those keen to allow the church to perform gay marriages. Newspaper Vårt Land reported earlier this week that 61 of the 116 delegates elected […]

New bishop won’t wed homosexuals

Per Arne Dahl, the newest of Oslo’s 12 bishops, finally took a stand Monday on whether he’d perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Dahl, long a celebrity clergyman through Norwegian media, chose to make his position known in his area’s local newspaper in Tønsberg, and said he would not. “It’s nothing new that I stand for the classic […]

Catholic Church appeals reimbursement claim

The Catholic diocese in Oslo is appealing a claim from the county administrator that it repay NOK 40 million in state and municipal financial support after allegedly inflating its membership roster. The county administrator (Fylkesmannen i Oslo go Akershus) claims the church violated regulations to obtain more support than it was due. Religious organizations in Norway […]

Singer dumped for defending gay marriage

A Norwegian Lutheran missionary organization had asked Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell to perform at its annual meeting this year, but dumped her after learning Slettahjell was among artists supporting gay marriage in the Norwegian church. Newspaper Dagen reported that Slettahjell had joined other performers such as Bjørn Eidsvåg, Ingrid Olava, Sigvart Dagsland and Karoline Krüger […]

Choir marathon topped ratings

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)’s decision to air 60 hours of choir-singing in a row during the weekend ended up attracting around 2 million viewers during the course of the marathon broadcast. Not bad, in a country of just 5 million people. Around 87,000 viewers turned in at any one time, NRK reported on Tuesday as ratings […]

Choir marathon sang all weekend

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)’s latest venture into producing “slow TV” got underway on Friday, when the first of around 200 choirs started singing their way through the entire Norwegian hymn book. A total of 899 psalms were sung by choirs around Norway and also in the state of Iowa in the US, which has a population that includes a large […]