New St. Olav Cathedral is the first new Catholic cathedral in Europe for over ten years. The Catholic population in Norway is growing rapidly due to immigration and a high birth rate.
On Thursday the celebrations begin, marking the building of New St. Olav Cathedral in Trondheim, which has the capacity for twice as many people as the previous one.
‘The reason for the new cathedral was that the previous one from 1973 was in such poor condition that it could not pretend to be suitable I’m afraid.
It had become too small, since the number of people attending the Catholic Church in Trøndelag and Norway is growing rapidly; with an annual growth of 15 percent in recent years’, said Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo Catholic diocese (OKB).
By October, OKB had around 132,000 names in the registers and Trondheim has a stable number of approximately 15,000 Catholics.
One total estimated number of Catholics in Norway is around 200,000, including those who have not registered here. The increasing number of Catholics in Norway is because of immigration, including that from Eastern Europe and several Asian countries.
This is a young population with a relatively high birth rate, and more children will lead to growth of the congregation’, said Eidsvig.
The great need for seating in the church is due to Catholic practice and not least the relationship they have to their own congregation.
Catholics have Sunday obligations (søndagsplikt), which means it is their moral duty to go to Mass, if they can. It leads to 10 to 20 percent attending Mass in most churches’, said Eidsvig.
There will be around 5-6000 Catholics who have access to the new cathedral in Trondheim, which will have between a 450 to 500 person seating capacity.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today