Talk:Church of Norway

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Is it the state church? If so that needs to be said. FearÉIREANN 19:22 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I think it is.

Norwegian Fishermans’ Church, Liverpool[edit]

Does any one know what the relationship is to say Norwegian Fishermans’ Church, Liverpool.-- 03:11, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

See: Norwegian Church Abroad Inge 13:14, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


The article claims 10% of the population attends services on a regular basis, whereas the article it claims as source only has 3%.

I presume the source is correct, and changed the percentage in the article.--Sparviere 01:25, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Credo in communion-part of lityrgy?[edit]

I'm sitting here with the CoN's book of worship (Gudstjenesteboken), and I can't find any opening for the credo in the liturgy of communion. There is: Sursum corda, Prefatio, Sanctus, a prayer, Our lord, Verba, (room for second part of "a prayer"), Agnus Dei. No room for credo. There are neither any Credo in the test-liturgy ( from NFG ("Nemd For Gudstjenesteliv", = the Liturgy-Reform). Credo comes in the baptismal part, or after the second reading (according to the book from -86), or after the sermon (according to some test-liturgies from NFG). I will therefore correct the liturgy-part. --A-moll9 (talk) 15:27, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

You are absolutely right, thanks for fixing ;) Finn Rindahl (talk) 17:59, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Category:National churches vs. Category:State churches (Christian)[edit]

Category:State churches (Christian) is itself a category within Category:National churches. — Robert Greer (talk) 19:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Category:State churches (Christian) vs. Category:Church of Norway[edit]

Category:Church of Norway is itself a category within Category:State churches (Christian). — Robert Greer (talk) 19:30, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Dissent from conservatives[edit]

The article should really consider looking into whether there has ever been any doctrinal dissent from conservatives within the Church of Norway, who might feel alienated about decisions surrounding the ordination of women or the blessing of same-sex marriages. It is possible to imagine that if this dissent were not healed, many of these conservatives would consider forming their own ecclesial community, which might be tempted to reunite with the Catholic Church, such as recently seen with the Traditional Anglican Communion. ADM (talk) 15:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Church has new name and inclusion[edit]

This article should be completely reworked. The name of the church has changed, and its Lutheran exclusivity was changed by legislation in May 2012. It is still the state church is some ways (payment of clergy and property, schools, organizations), so to say it is not the state church has only limited veracity.

What do you mean by Lutheran exclusivity? The church is still Evangelical Lutheran, as established by the Constitution. Per Weo (talk) 09:35, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Proposed separation of church and state[edit]

The idea that church and state should be separated is only supported by the small Socialist Left Party. The government Labour Party and Centre Party[1] have explicitly decided against this proposal and decided to retain the state church ("the state church is retained. Neither the Labour Party nor the Centre Party had a mandate to agree to separate church and state", Trond Giske, Minister of Church Affairs, [2]). However, all parties voted for the 2008 compromise (finally implemented from 2012), which meant that the state church was retained,[3] as pointed out, for example, by the state Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation[4] and the Norwegian Humanist Association[5][6]. The fact that the wording "official religion of the State" is replaced by "Norway's people's church" in the constitution doesn't affect the church's status as a state church (it has never been designated "state church" in the constitution, and "Norway's people's church" obviously means state church no less than the previous wording), and what makes it a state church isn't the wording in the constitution, but rather the fact that all clergy are state employees and the church fully state-funded, the Church of Norway being legally privileged by having its own church law and a special status in the constitution, the Church of Norway being integrated in the state administration, an obligation for the King to be a member, and much more. Per Weo (talk) 17:29, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

For a more in-depth article on the state church system of Norway from 2012 onwards, see (The New State Church System), the name of the agreement reached by all Storting parties and implemented in 2012. Per Weo (talk) 17:52, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

there isnt a state church in norway anymore by order of the government.
I'm sorry, but this is not correct. Norway has a state church, and the government is in no position to make any "orders" in this respect; such issues are decided by the Parliament, the Storting, and in the recent, so-called state-church compromise (statskirkeforliket), the Parliament voted to retain the state church, while adopting some minor changes which didn't affect its status as a state church and while rewording the constitution to adopt a state church provision with a more modern and less confusing wording based on the Danish state church provision in the Constitution of Denmark. Per Weo (talk) 02:23, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Compared to other Nordic state churches[edit]

The Constitution of Norway now (from 2012) says that "den norske kirke, en evangelisk-luthersk Kirke, forbliver Norges Folkekirke og understøttes som saadan af Staten" ("the Church of Norway, an Evangelical-Lutheran church, remains Norway's people's church, and is supported by the State as such"). The provision is directly based on the provisions for the Danish and Iceland state churches (Church of Denmark and Church of Iceland respectively) in the Danish and Icelandic constitutions. The term people's church (folkekirke) was introduced with the Danish 1848 constitution, where § 4 says that "Den evangelisk-lutherske kirke er den danske folkekirke og understøttes som sådan af staten" ("The Evangelical-Lutheran Church is the Danish people's church and is supported as such by the State")[7]. The Icelandic constitution contains a similar provision based on the Danish constitution. Per Weo (talk) 09:33, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the wording would imply that it's not a state religion but a national church (people's church). --Pudeo' 02:57, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Not state church since 2012[edit]

Church of Norway was until 2012 an integral part of the Norwegian government apparatus, along with tax offices, police, school etc. The clergy were civil servants appointed by the King, and the King was kind of archbishop. In 2012 there was a soft break from the state, the church is now a self-governing body. It is a national church although not a state church (in Norwegian the word "state" is synonymous with "government"). --Erik den yngre (talk) 13:59, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

This has been discussed ad nauseam, and as has been demonstrated (e.g. above), the view that the state church should be abolished is a minority view of only one small party (SV) that was not adopted by the Storting. Both Labour and the Centre Party (then in government) and all the other parties except SV explicitly decided in favour of retaining the state church (see e.g. [8]) As then-Minister of Church affairs Trond Giske said when the most recent amendments of the constitution were proposed, "the state church is retained" ("Statskirkeordningen føres videre. Verken Ap eller Sp hadde mandat til å gå med på å skille stat og kirke"). The recent constitutional amendments were mostly of limited importance and did not at all affect the church's status as a state church; the only somewhat important change was that authority to appoint bishops was transferred to church bodies, but this was really only the last stage of a process that had been going on for decades and part of the same process that gave e.g. universities the right to hire professors themselves, they don't have to be appointed by the government any longer either. This, of course, doesn't make the University of Oslo any less of a state university. Per Weo (talk) 22:06, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Norwegian sources says that it is no longer a state church for instance or the church itself. Christianity was the official religion in Norway since 1024, and the church was governed by the king since 1536, priests and bishops were civil servants, the church was in effect the government department of religion. This is no longer the case, the church is self-governed. What remains is funding, but all religious organizations are supported financially by the state (this is also mentioned in the revised constitution). The church of Norway is no longer part of the government apparatus. Trond Giske's remark is a political statement not a factual statement. Human-Etisk forbund also claims that is still a "state church", but too is a political statement because they dont want any relation between state and church. So the church of Norway is a national church but not a state church. And evangelical christianity is no longer the official religion of Norway. The label state church is removed from Norwegian WP. --Erik den yngre (talk) 09:02, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but Norwegian sources, as seen above, say it is a state church; even the Minister of Church Affairs said so explicitly when presenting the changes in question, leaving no doubt as to what the official situation is. It also fullfills any meaningful definition of a state church for the reasons mentioned above; eg. it has a special provision in the constitution (unlike any other religion/church) where it is mentioned as the "people's church" (a traditional term for state church; also the provision is an almost verbatim copy of the similar Danish provision for the Danish state church), it has its own law, its employees are state employees (contrary to what you claim), the King is required to be a member, its regional and central bodies form part of the state administration, it is bound e.g. by forvaltningsloven and other laws regulating public bodies, the municipalities are required by law to support its activities, the municipalities are represented in local church bodies and so on. The view that is is not a state church despite all these facts which clearly demonstrate that it is, is a (rather frivolous) minority view, not held by any of the parties which voted for the recent constitutional amendments (not even SV, the only party which in theory would prefer to separate it from the state). The reason why it is a state church can be readily found in current Norwegian legislation. A good overview is presented here. Per Weo (talk) 14:33, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
"" is the publication of Human-etisk forbund, they are very critical to any relation between church and government and they mean that the changes are not sufficient, so it is in their interest to frame the situation. The departemental web pages says that there is no state church. There are some details of the reform not in place, for instance creating the church as a legal entity is not yet in place, but this is a question of practicalities and not principle. There is already a new association, KA, in place for church employers. You are right that some legal details are still not in place. In any case there is no doubt the reform was the most important change in the relation between church and government since 1536, it is clearly misleading to suggest that the church of Norway is the same as 20 or 50 years ago. As we can not agree about the term "state church", the article should mention the specifics in the relation between government and church, including the changes i 2012. --Erik den yngre (talk) 23:15, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
It is the privilege of the Storting and no one else to determine the status of the state church, and the Storting has not abolished any state church, and this was made perfectly clear by the Storting and by the goverment when these changes were adopted. The Minister of Church Affairs said: "The state church is retained." The most recent amendments are mostly rather insignificant changes, and other reforms of the postwar era were far more important, e.g. female priests. The reform 25 years ago was also at the very least of equal importance. There is only one single party in Norway, the small SV party, which is in favour of abolishing the state church. Per Weo (talk) 06:48, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, the two sentence-text that you linked to does not say there is no state church. That would have been rather strange since the government's policy is to retain the state church (both the former Labour government, as they made very clear, and the current one; after Labour decided in favour of the state church a couple of years ago, there is hardly any support for abolishing it). For example, any public university or college, or the state's broadcasting company NRK, are separate legal entities, the church being a separate legal entity doesn't make it less of a state church. There is no requirement that a state church must be fully identical with the regular state administration; a state church is by definition a church that has a privileged position in a state, e.g. in its constitution and/or public life. More important is the fact that it has a special provision in the constitution as "Norway's people's church, and is supported by the State as such" (a very clear wording meaning state church), with the provision being a deliberate copy of the long-standing Danish provision for the Danish state church, having its own law and all the other characteristics of being a state church. If it was not to be a state church, the Constitution of Norway would have to be changed and the current state church provision removed. Per Weo (talk) 16:49, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
«The departemental web pages says that there is no state church.» No it dont. What is outspoken political intention of government in office: is intentions, not facts. this timeline shows the work in progress. Andrez1 (talk) 17:38, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

No consensus[edit]

There is no consesus to use the term "state church". Some sources (opinion pieces mostly) says that it is still a state church, other sources (the church itself, the ministry, news reports) says that is not. The term "state church" is more controversial then not using the term at all. NO-WP avoids the term and instead describes the specific changes and the specific relations between state and church (for instance no official religion, but priests are still civil servants). It is not our job to draw inferences from facts. When facts are not clear (for instance the term "state church") WP must reflect this state of affairs, for instance by avoiding the topic or by quoting diverging positions. --Erik den yngre (talk) 05:50, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Indeed there is, and furthermore, it is the official position of the Norwegian government, and of the Norwegian constitution. The opinion that it should not be a state church is just a minority, fringe personal opinion. We have the Storting parties saying explicitly that the state church is retained, we have the Minister of Church Affairs saying "the state church is retained" for Christ's sake. Also, it doesn't really matter which words are used in Norway, I recommend that you read the introduction of the article state religion (which is where state church redirects, and which is synonymous with state church) to get an idea of what the term means in the English language (for example: "State religions are official or government-sanctioned establishments of a religion, but neither does the state need be under the control of the church (as in a theocracy), nor is the state-sanctioned church necessarily under the control of the state.") By this definition, the Norwegian state church is even more of a state church than what is really required to be called a state church in the English language; it is one of the most quintessential examples of a state church in the European tradition today, and this (the Church of Norway remaining a state church) was also what the Storting and government said they intended when they adopted the most recent changes. From both the legal/constitutional and scholarly point of view, there is absolutely no question that the Church of Norway has been a state church since the Reformation until this day, regardless of the wish by some of its opponents, a small minority, to change this situation (an agenda they will first and foremost have to pursue by convincing the political parties represented in the Storting to change the Norwegian constitution as well as other laws giving the Church of Norway a special role, although it seems extremely unlikely that the Storting will do that in the near future). Per Weo (talk) 13:26, 4 September 2015 (UTC)