Oslo Catholic dioceses on trial for fraud

Oslo Catholic diocesesOSLO.Oslo Catholic diocesesPhoto: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Monday, the trial of the Oslo Catholic dioceses (OKB) and their manager are charged with membership fraud.


The dioceses received 1 million kroner last November because employees from 2011 to 2014 used the telephone directory to find people with “Catholic sounding names”. Then they obtained the social security number of these persons and listed them as members on the annual state aid applications.

– Oslo Catholic Dioceses (OKB) received a fine as a criminal offense a year ago. The offense was not accepted by OKB, the reasoning behind not accepting the fine,  was that no one acted on behalf of OKB to commit fraud.

The prosecutor has therefore chosen to send the referral to the district court as an accusation. OKB is considering the case in the same manor as last year, writes the diocesan defender, lawyer Erling O. Lyngtveit, in a SMS NTB.

OKB believes they are not guilty of gross fraud, as the prosecution believes.

– Gross fraud means that someone has intentionally attempted to obtain or for another an unwarranted win. We believe this has not been the case here, said the administrative director of OKB, Lisa Wade, after the diocese did not approve of the million kroner fine.

There will be a trial.

Wade, who resigned in April, acknowledged that searching for Catholic sounding names in the telephone directory was “somewhat thought about”.

The case against Bishop Bernt Eidsvig was dropped because the prosecutor said it could not be proven that he had knowledge of what was happening under his leadership.

The whole week is docked for the trial at Oslo District Court.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today