Catholic World News

Norwegian bishop says priests will no longer officiate at civil marriages

April 22, 2016

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo has indicated that Catholic priests in Norway will no longer act as civil officials at weddings.

The bishop consulted with the Vatican about how churches should underline the distinction between civil ceremonies and Christian marriages, after the Lutheran Church in Norway, which represents roughly three-fourths of the country's people-- voted to recognize same-sex unions. Bishop Eidsvig told Catholic News Service that "politicians may now get aggressive toward churches who resist these weddings, so the best option is for us to stop conducting marriages on the state's behalf."

Bishop Eidsvig said that many Norwegians continue to reject same-sex marriage. He joined with Protestant leders in protesting the decision by the Lutheran synod, saying that recognition of same-sex unions violated "not only the Christian understanding of marriage, but also the historic and universal view of marriage."


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  • Posted by: chady - Apr. 28, 2016 9:35 AM ET USA

    Certainly here in Wales [UK] the Church of Wales has for the time being decided not to provided a marriage service for same sex couples. It announced in April 16 that following consultations it has been shown that the Church is not yet ready to allow or bless same-sex marriage, however the debate is not over. The Baptist Union of GB has recently affirmed its stance on Biblical Marriage which is encouraging. We will see how things develop.

  • Posted by: Jerz - Apr. 27, 2016 11:06 PM ET USA

    I don't know much about Norway's constitution, but here in the U.S., I wonder if it would be wise to give up so much ground all at once without a fight. I understand the principle, but isn't it our duty to test the integrity of the First Amendment in the hopes that some of it stands?

  • Posted by: jimr451 - Apr. 22, 2016 9:31 PM ET USA

    I've heard this strategy floated for the United States eventually as well.