The bishops of the NBC meet on an online general assembly.
Nordic Bishops’ Conference send a protest note to the Danish government
In a letter to the Danish government, the NBC protests the planned law on the compulsory translation of sermons that are held in languages other than Danish. It is an imposition, especially for minority churches, and “contradicts the tradition of tolerance and freedom that traditionally shape Denmark”. The bill thus meant a “serious restriction of religious freedom”.
The Bishops’ Conference also questions the appropriateness and intended effect of such a law, because it is “extremely doubtful whether sermons with subversive content” would be made available at all.
The bishops therefore ask the Danish government to withdraw the proposed bill.
The Corona pandemic-restrictions impede the celebration of church services
Like all countries, the countries of Northern Europe are affected by the corona pandemic. The restrictions issued by the government are followed in all countries. Nevertheless, resentment and concern are growing among bishops, priests and believers as to whether and how the charity and Easter liturgy can be celebrated this year. Time restrictions of 30 minutes for a mass as in Denmark or the celebration of mass without the participation of believers like in Oslo cannot be made understandable if large demonstrations against corona measures are allowed and amusement parks are opened at the same time. It is also difficult to convey that while people in Iceland are allowed to see a psychiatrist, they are not allowed to go to confession. The chairman of the Conference of European Bishops’ Conferences (COMECE) – Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich – had already described the “extremely strict” restrictions on the celebration of church services due to Corona protective measures as problematic in a statement in January. “Limiting individual rights in this way endangers the entire structure of fundamental rights, which is based on the idea of universality and interdependence of individual rights,” said the Archbishop of Luxembourg.
Pastoral letter for the year of Joseph
On the occasion of the Year of St. Joseph proclaimed by Pope Francis, the bishops of the NBC prepared a pastoral letter that will be published on March 25, 2021. In it they recall, among other things, the role of St. Joseph as protector of refugees and migrants. The fate of these people is a “global challenge that no one can and should avoid”.
Photo: From left to right: Marco Pasinato (Director of Helsinki), Sister Anna Mirijam Kaschner cps (Secretary General), Bernt Eidsvig Can.Reg Bishop, Oslo, Anders Arborelius Cardinal OCD, Stockholm, Vice Chairman.
From left to right in the middle row: Prelate and Bishop Berislav Grgic, Tromsø, Prelate and Bishop Erik Varden O.C.S.O., Trondheim, Bishop David Tencer, OFMCap., Reykjavík, Archbishop James Patrick Green, Ambassador of the Holy See to the Nordic countries.
From left to right below: Bishop Czeslaw Kozon, Copenhagen, Chairman, Peter Bürcher, Bishop Emeritus, Reykjavík.