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New bishop candidate introduced

Foto: Scanpix
The Church Council moves against the Ministry of Church Affairs and calls in Erling J. Pettersen to an interview for the position of Bishop of Oslo.

The controversy regarding who is going to replace Gunnar Stålsett as a Bishop of Oslo in the Lutheran State Church continues.

Pettersen was one of the seven candidates which originally were nominated by the church for the position. He is the director of the Church Council and is considered to be a liberal candidate. However, Pettersen was cut after the Ministry of Church Affairs evaluated the candidates.

The Church Council has now introduced Pettersen as a candidate once more.

«By doing this, we state that we disagree with the ministry’s nominations,» said Thor Bjarne Bore, leader of the Church Council, to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. «The Church Meeting has previously decided that we were going to have a selection method which better expresses the church’s diversity. According to our method, Pettersen is the candidate that receives the highest number of votes and is a natural candidate to include in this evaluation.»

The debate has focused on the three candidates the ministry has suggested; Bishop of Borg Ole Christian Kvarme, Dean Trond Bakkevig, and Helen Bjørnøy from Kirkens Bymisjon.

Kvarme has been criticized because he is against ordaining people who live in homosexual relationship. However, his view is in accordance with the Church Meeting’s decision from 1997, and it reflects the opinion of the majority of the church.

The new candidate Pettersen is more liberal than Kvarme. He’s view is that the attitude towards homosexuals should be updated.

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