Generational shift: Three Norwegian bishops to resign in a few years

Halvor Nordhaug - Atle SommerfeldtPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

By 2023, three Norwegian bishops will relinquish their positions in the Church of Norway.

Over the next two years, the age limit will lead to a generational change among Norwegian bishops, the newspaper Vårt Land writes.

By the end of the year, the bishop of Borg, Atle Sommerfeldt, turns 70 and will be obliged to resign. The fact that the Church Council has chosen not to let him continue working for another two years despite the fact that he was open to it signals major changes in the Church of Norway.

In May, the Church Council discussed whether it was desirable to facilitate work after the age of 70, which is the current limit in the Age Act. 

The notion was voted down, which means that Sommerfeldt must resign in November, followed by colleagues Halvor Nordhaug and Solveig Fiske in two years.

Generational shift

“Most people who become bishops do so before they are 60 years old. This means that most people get at least ten years and some more than 20. In that time, I think they did what they planned,” Nordhaug, who has been a bishop in Bjørgvin since 2009, said.

Fiske wanted to expand the age limit but does not want a new debate now that the Church Council has reached a conclusion in the case of Atle Sommerfeldt. She is not worried about a generational change among the bishops.

“I think it will be a mixture of renewal and continuity. And I expect someone to come in with new eyes and their voice,” she said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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