Oslo bishop - ‘I will not marry same-sex couples’

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Per Arne Dahl. Photo: Trond Reidat Teigen / NTB Scanpix
17:36 CEST+02:00
Per Arne Dahl, the newest of Oslo’s 12 bishops, told the Norwegian newspaper, Tønsbergs Blad on Monday, that he would not officiate at gay or lesbian weddings.

Dahl had previously refused to offer a clear stand on the issue and his sudden decision to make a stance came on the same day as the news that the bishop would ordain the lesbian pastor Hanne Marie Pedersen-Eriksen, after she won a temporary post at the historic Norderhov Church in Buskerud.

“It’s nothing new that I stand for the classic view on marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman,” Dahl told Tønsbergs Blad.

He said he did, however, want to “contribute” towards a “worthy” service for same-sex couples who marry outside the church under Norwegian law and seek the church’s blessing.

He told Tønsbergs Blad that “we must respect that those of us in the church have two views” on the issue, but he does not want those conflicting views to “create a schism.”

“I am very disappointed,” Torbjørn Steen-Karlsen, leader of LLH, the national organization representing gay, lesbian and transgender Norwegians, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “I thought Dahl was a man of the future, but I was very mistaken. I don’t think this is worthy of the church in 2015.”

Dahl is the author of more than a dozen books and had often appeared on national TV and radio.

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