Catholic Church in Norway to stop performing civil weddings to make a point against ‘sorrow’ of gay marriage
The Catholic Church in Norway is to stop performing civil weddings altogether in order to make a stand against equal marriage.
The Lutheran Church in Norway recently announced that it would perform same-sex marriages.
In a bid to distance itself from the Lutherans, the Catholic Church has now said it will ask the Vatican permission to stop performing civil weddings.
Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo, made the announcement.
He said: “It’s clear we must distinguish our own Church marriages from others.
“This is a matter of liturgy, so it doesn’t necessarily reflect broader change in our society’s moral values.
“But 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.”
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Of the decision by the Lutheran Church to be more inclusive, the Bishop added: “My own reaction is one of sorrow and disappointment, and we can’t foresee the longer-term consequences for inter-church contacts here.”
The Church of Norway is also expected to approve a motion that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the country’s churches.
The church last discussed the issue of equal marriage in 2014, when a proposal to allow it was rejected. However, with the new governing body, there is now a majority in favour.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Norway since 2009 and the Church of Norway also allows for the ordination of gay clergy.
Sweden has allowed religious same-sex weddings since 2009, with Denmark following suit in 2012.