Oslo Bishop protests gay marriage call
The Bishop of Oslo is considering leaving the the body that represents priests in Norway in protest against its decision to call for gay church marriages, he has told Norway's Dagen newspaper.
Bishop Ole Christian Kvarme, said that the decision of the Priestly Society to get involved in the discussions ahead of a synod in April showed "a lack of prudence" within the organisation's leadership.
"I had expected that the Priestly Society Central Board would not go into this question," He wrote in an email to the Aftenposten newspaper. "I fear this will undermine the important role that the Priestly Society has played in our church in recent decades."
Ingeborg Midttømme, the Bishop of Møre and a prominent opponent of gay marriage, has already resigned from the society.
Some 50 of the society's 2,507 members have resigned since it made its controversial call for a liturgy to be drawn up for gay church marriages.
The Norwegian church's 12 bishops are split over whether couples of the same sex should be married in the church, with eight in favour and four against.
However, the bishops last year decided that they would seek to push for blessings for gay couples' civil marriages rather than full gay church weddings when they meet for a synod this April.