A historic consecration in Norway

Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was on Sunday (May 10) consecrated as the new presiding bishop of the Church of Norway in a historic service where the Corona-rules limited the number of participants to 50 people! Under normal circumstances the beautiful national Cathedral of Nidaros would have been filled with guests from all over the country and with international church leaders and His Majesty King Harald present. The social impact of the Corona virus is immense. Church-services have been suspended for weeks. Only this Sunday the government has allowed smaller groups to congregate.

In his sermon Dr. Tveit reminded us about the fact that the church had survived crises before, looking back at the importance of the Nidaros Cathedral under WW II. In the beginning of February 1942 the then Dean of the Cathedral was not allowed to lead the service when he decline to use the occasion as an ovation of Quisling’s new Nazi-government. That started the direct  confrontation between the State and the Church. The Church became one of the most important partners of the civil resistance movement, providing hope and light in times of despair. Without comparing the occupation and the war with the pandemic, Dr. Tveit stressed the role of the Church as a messenger of hope, filled with love and faith.

The Lutheran Church in Great Britain wants to extend our greetings to the new Norwegian church-leader with his wide ecumenical and global perspective after ten years as general secretary of the World Council of Churches. We look forward to cooperating with bishop Tveit both inside the fellowship of the Lutheran World Federation and the Porvoo-communion sharing the same vision of hope, justice and peace based in our common faith that nothing can separate us from the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ.

+ Tor B Jørgensen

Photo: Magne Vik Bjørkøy

Read the news about the consecration of the Church of Norway’s new presiding bishop Olav Fykse Tveit at World Council of Churches website.