Only Priests to deliver death notices?

priest Priest. Photo:

Human-Ethical Society questions why only priests are to deliver death notices

Most of the nation’s police districts would like to use priest whenever they can to delivery death notices. The Human-Ethical Society finds this problematic.


Recently there was a new agreement that governs the conditions of priests who are asked deliver the death notice on behalf of the police departments. At this time the police are responsible for this task, but all of the nation’s police districts tell Aftenposten that they would like to use chaplains whenever possible.

“Exception is when it is all to time-consuming, when the police are already busy with other tasks,” says Arne Hammer from the Nordland police district.

Human-Ethics against the practice

The Human-Ethics Society has little positive to say regarding this practice.

“Most of the citizens are non-believers. Therefore it is unnatural that the religious community should be given the task of delivering a death notice. The signal we have received is that some sees it as an additional burden when there is a priest at the door,” says federal leader Trond Enger. He has nothing against to the work the priests can provide, but believes this should be a public task.

Police Chaplain Inge Åggård says the priests contribute comfort and care and that the transfer of a death notice is more about competence than religion.

“There are priests all over Norway, I think no one else can do as good a job as we do. I have never met anyone who viewed it as an additional burden that there is a priest delivering the notice, on the contrary,” says Ålgård.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today